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KING JAMES VI. OF SCOTLAND;
SOME OF THEM PRINTED FROM ORIGINALS
IN THE POSSESSION OF THE REV. EDWARD RYDER,
AND OTHERS PROM A MS.
WHICH FORMERLY BELONGED TO SIR PETER THOMPSON, KT.
JOHN BRUCE, ESQ. Treas. S.A.
PRINTED FOR THE CAMDEN SOCIETY.
J. B. NICHOLS AND SON, PRINTERS,
THE CAMDEN SOCIETY
FOR THE YEAR 1849.
THE RIGHT HON. LORD BRAYBROOKE, F.S.A.
THOMAS AMYOT, ESQ. F.R.S., F.S.A. Director.
WILLIAM HENRY BLAAUW, ESQ. M.A.
JOHN BRUCE, ESQ. Treas. S.A.
JOHN PAYNE COLLIER, ESQ. V.P. S.A. Treasurer.
C. PURTON COOPER, ESQ. Q.C., D.C.L., F.R.S., F.S.A.
WILLIAM DURRANT COOPER, ESQ. F.S.A.
BOLTON CORNEY, ESQ. M.R.S.L.
SIR HENRY ELLIS, K.H., F.R.S., Sec. S.A.
THE REV. JOSEPH HUNTER, F.S.A.
JOHN MITCHELL KEMBLE, ESQ. M.A.
PETER LEYESQUE, ESQ. F.S.A.
FREDERIC OUVRY, ESQ. F.S.A.
THOMAS JOSEPH PETTIGREW, ESQ. F.R.S., F.S.A.
HENRY CRABB ROBINSON, ESQ. F.S.A.
WILLIAM J. THOMS, ESQ. F.S.A., Secretary.
The Council of the Camden Society desire it to be under-
stood that they are not answerable for any opinions or observa-
tions that may appear in the Society's publications ; the Editors of
the several works being alone responsible for the same.
The letters printed in the present volume have been derived
from two sources. Forty-three of them have been communicated
to the Camden Society by the rev. Edward Ryder, rector of
Oaksey, in the county of Wilts : and the remaining fifty-two have
been printed from a volume of transcripts formerly in the library of
sir Peter Thompson, and now the property of the Camden Society
by purchase from James Orchard Halliwell, esq.
Of the letters for which we are indebted to Mr. Ryder, thirty-two
are originals written wholly by the hand of queen Elizabeth ; six
are originals of an official character written by a secretary but signed
by queen Elizabeth ; two are contemporary copies of letters of king
James, and two are drafts or copies in his majesty's handwriting.
In what manner so large a collection of royal letters found their
way into the possession of Mr. Ryder is partly accounted for as
At the period to which these letters relate it was the custom for
royal secretaries, and also for many other public functionaries, to
treat as their own all papers relating to that portion of the public
business which they were officially called upon to transact. A royal
servant who advised the sovereign respecting a reply to a written
communication generally retained afterwards, in his own possession,
the communication which had been answered and the draft or copy
CAMD. soc. h
of the reply. And when he retired from office, he took away those
papers with him. He looked upon them as his vouchers and
evidences, the proofs and justifications of his public conduct. He
deemed them as much his own as the title deeds of his private estate. •
It is in this way that so many collections of what are now more
properly considered to be public documents came to be scattered
over the country in the muniment rooms of noble families. In this
way, also, and in consequence of the changes to which all families
are subject, numbers beyond number of such papers have been
totally lost. As soon as the persons who were primarily interested
in these papers had passed away, the necessity for their preservation
became less apparent. Damp and vermin laid siege to them ; fire
destroyed masses incalculable ; and when changes of fortune or of
residence rendered it imperative that such collections should be got
rid of, they were either consigned to most ignoble uses, or divided
and scattered, here and there, in foreign countries, or in the most
unlikely nooks and corners of our own, and were thus again subjected
to a multiplication of the same chances as before. Antiquaries soon
became alive to the evils which necessarily resulted from such a
state of things ; and it was by the purchase of such papers from care-
less or needy possessors that sir Robert Cotton, the earl of Oxford,
lord Shelburne, and other eminent persons of similar tastes, were
enabled to get together the vast collections of state papers which
exist in their manuscript libraries.
Many of the letters now communicated by Mr. Ryder bear
obvious marks of having passed through the hands of official persons.
Written on the backs of some of tbem are memoranda of what may
be supposed to be the day either* of date or receipt (pp. 39, 41, 49^
51), On others the indorsement states not only the day but also the
mode of the receipt, as at p. 45, " Received 8th February, 1586, by a
post ; " at p. 67, " 1591, 3 November. Delivered by Mr. Bowes ; " at
p. 70, "Delivered by Roger Ashton, 28th January, 1591; " at p. 75,
"K. Scotland. 1592, presented by Mr. Bowes, 3 Junij. ; " and
p. 80, " Delivered by the lord Borough, the 16th of March, 1593."
But the indorsements which are most to our purpose occur at p. 25,
" Copy of the king his letter to [the] queen of England, 20 December,
1685," and at p. 93, " Sent to me to be presented to his majestie at
Thirlestane, 19th October, 1593."
These indorsements may be taken to indicate, in the case of the let*
ters of queen Elizabeth, that, after they had been presented to king
James, and, in the case of the copies of James's letters, that, after their
tenor had been determined upon with his majesty, they were retained
by some official person, or by some succession of official persons,
according to the custom to which I have referred ; and the mention
of "Thirlestane" directs our attention to a family in which such
papers were very likely to be found.
The house that " stands on Leader side " needs no introduction to
our Scottish; readers ; but it may not be superfluous to remind the
English members of the Camden Society, that Thirlestane is a chief
seat of the Maitlands, an ancient family eminently conspicuous in
the history of Scotland during the period to which these papers
relate, and not less so in the history of England as well as of Scot-
land, during the subsequent Stewart reigns.
Sir Richard Maitland, of Lethington and Thirlestane, was ap-
pointed one of the extraordinary lords of session in 1554, and one of
the ordinary lords in 1561. He also held the office of keeper of the
privy seal from 1562 to 1567. In the latter year he became totally
blind. In spite of that infirmity he continued to execute his office
of judge — the very representative of Justice herself— for many years,
but the privy seal was handed over to the keeping of John Maitland,
his second son.
Of that eminent man, — the Burghley of Scotland, as he has been not
unaptly termed, — it is scarcely necessary to say a word. During a
period of nearly thirty years, he devoted himself to the double duties of
judge and statesman. In the successive appointments of keeper of the
privy seal, lord of session, secretary of state, and ultimately of lord
chancellor, much of the most important business of Scotland passed
through his, hands. In 1590, he was created baron Maitland of
Thirlestane, and at that place he died on the 3rd October, 1595.
The chancellor's only son, John second lord Maitland, was created
viscount Lauderdale in 1616, and earl in 1624. One striking
anecdote will be a sufficient evidence of his character. During the
civil wars the charter chest of the Maitlands was buried, for safety'
sake, in the earth. On the return of more peaceful times, or on the hap-
pening of some necessity for a recurrence to the chest, it was brought
forth from its place of concealment. But its contents were found to
have been destroyed by the very means taken for their preservation.
Damp had rendered them illegible and altogether useless. It
chanced, that, long before, the earl had made a calendar of all his
charters and writs — documents of peculiar importance in those days.
Such was the universal estimation in which the integrity of the earl
was held, that the parliament of Scotland directed, without scruple,
that his calendar should be accepted as evidence in place of the
documents destroyed, and ordered the clerk-register to authenticate
The first earl's eldest son, another John Maitland, was born on the
* Crawford's Peerage of Scot. p. 253.
24th May, 1616. His reputation presents in many respects a
decided contrast to that of his father. In early life he was a
covenanter. At the battle of Worcester he was taken prisoner
fighting on the side of Charles II. He was released from a nine
years' imprisonment in the Tower by general Monk. The Restora-
tion placed him in the foremost rank of public men. Pepys has
registered that lord Lauderdale declared that he had rather hear a cat
mew than listen to the best music in the world ; * and others may feel
inclined to attribute to him all the consequences which Shakspere
predicates of such a disposition. He figured in the Cabal ministry.
He was created duke of Lauderdale. He continued for many years
in the supreme direction of the affairs of Scotland, which he
governed upon principles which were universally unpopular. He
died, out of favour and neglected, on the 24th August, 1682.
The many and long-continued public employments of this distin-
guished family render it extremely likely that such letters as those
now published may have found a way into their possession.
The memorandum which has been quoted respecting Thirlestane
points directly to the chancellor. And the supposition that these
have been Maitland papers is rendered almost conclusive by this
circumstance, that the only other papers of the same kind which are
in the possession of Mr. Ryder are a considerable collection of
original letters addressed to John duke of Lauderdale, with many
copies of letters written by him in his capacity of secretary for
On the authority of these facts, I will take it for granted that the
* " Strange to hear my lord Lauderdale say himself that he had rather hear a cat mew
than the best music in the world ; and the better the music the more sick it makes him ;
and that of all instruments he hates the lute most, and next to that the bagpipe."
Pepys's Diary, iii. 246.
Ryder MSS. now published have been handed down through the
Maitlands of Thirlestane. It remains that I should indicate in what
manner papers which once belonged to that family have turned up,
after the lapse of nearly three hundred years, in a secluded parson-
age in North Wilts.
With all his political faults — which the present writer would be
the last person in the world to defend — the duke - of Lauderdale
proved himself to be a Maitland by his love and patronage of litera-
ture. In that respect this family is singularly eminent. Sir Richard
Maitland, himself a poet, is now principally known as the great pre-
server of the ancient poetry of Scotland. The chancellor exhibited
the family taste by poetical compositions of his own, not only
in Latin but also in the vernacular language of his day. The first
earl, as we have seen, had antiquarian knowledge enough to make
calendars of ancient charters. Another Richard Maitland, to whom
we shall allude hereafter, made a translation of Virgil which
furnished many lines to Dryden, and collected a library which, in
the judgment of Evelyn, was of exceeding value. And even the
vindictive, furious duke, the reckless, unscrupulous politician, set
great store upon a choice and splendid library of printed books, and
added to that taste for ornamental decoration and the fine arts, of
which the evidence still exists at Ham House and Helmingham, a
love for old MSS., of which he possessed a most valuable col-
lection, probably partly inherited and partly acquired. In such a
family letters of queen Elizabeth and king James seemed safe.
The duke's brother Charles, who was his successor in his earldom,
was probably in needy circumstances. Evelyn writes to Pepys in
August, 1689, that the duke's collection of books and MSS. still
remained entire, but was for sale in the hands of a person who had
advanced money upon it In May, 1690, the printed books were
sold by auction in London in two sales. The first sale consisted of
the French, Italian, and Spanish books, and began on the 14th May.
The second sale comprised the English books, and began on the 27 th
of the same month. The books are described, both by Evelyn and
in the sale catalogue, as choice and curious copies, bound with true
bibliomaniacal sumptuousness. The collection of MSS. remained
unsold for some time longer.
In 1691 Charles earl of Lauderdale died. He was succeeded by
his son Richard, who at the revolution of 1688 had taken the side of
the exiled sovereign, and had followed him into France. Richard
earl of Lauderdale was the translator of Virgil, and the collector of
MS S. before mentioned ; a man likely to estimate, even beyond its value,
such a library of MSS. as that which belonged to the duke. But when
he succeeded to the earldom he was living at St. Germains in great
poverty. Although an exile for the cause of James II., he was out of
favour with his stubborn master, who despised and resented his concilia-
tory advice. The whole fortunes of the family seemed to have suffered
a total eclipse ; and one learns without surprise, that, at length, the
duke's collection of MSS. was sold by auction in London in January,
1691-2. A copy of the sale catalogue, purchased out of the Heber
library by the right honourable J. G. Craig, was contributed by him
to the Bannatyne Miscellany. It does not contain any notice of the
letters now published, nor of the other MSS. in the possession of Mr.
Ryder. They were of too recent interest to be made the subject of
a sale ; but the same storm which scattered the other MSS. of tins
family, no doubt drove those in which we have an interest from their
resting-place. It is a wonder that any of them were preserved.
Mr. Ryder, formerly of the Charter House, father of the rev.
Edward Ryder, was a man of high eminence as a solicitor in London
during the latter half of the last century. He died in the year 1839
at the age of 97. The papers now published, together with the
others remaining in his son's possession, belonged to Mr. Ryder of the
Charter House for a very long period. He set great store by them,
and often exhibited to his friends the royal letters which are among
them as very important and interesting curiosities. They were in
his possession as long back as any person now living can remember.
But how they came into his possession, or whether those which he
acquired are all that were preserved, is not known. Mr. Ryder was
professionally employed by many noble and eminent Scottish families,
but whether he acquired these papers through any of his Scottish
clients, or by purchase, or in what other manner, is utterly unknown.
The high character which he is universally known to have maintained,
during a life prolonged far beyond the ordinary average of mortality,
is a sufficient guarantee for his having acquired them honourably.
On the death of Mr. Ryder of the Charter House, they descended
to his only son, the gentleman to whom the Camden Society is now
indebted for the use of them.
Respecting the Thompson MS. a comparatively few words will
suffice. It is a quarto volume of transcripts written in a modern
hand, and entitled " State Papers in the Time of Queen Elizabeth and
King James the 1st; in the collection of Sir Peter Thompson,
F.R.S." The volume contains transcripts of many other letters
besides those now published, all of them connected with king James,
and also eight papers respecting the execution of Mary queen of
Scots. The title page must not be understood to mean that the
original papers from which these transcripts were made were in the
possession of sir Peter Thompson. Certainly that was not the case.
The originals of several of the letters transcribed into this MS. are
in the Cotton collection ; others are in the State Paper Office ; others,
it is believed, are at Hatfield ; and others are in the possession of Mr.
Ryder. The volume was no doubt made up by some transcriber
employed by sir Peter Thompson from MSS., whether copies or
originals, which chanced to be accessible to him. Sir Peter Thomp-
son was a Dorsetshire antiquary in the eighteenth century. He
was born at Poole in 1698 and died there in 1770. He acquired
a fortune in London as a Hamburgh merchant, and, chancing to
be high-sheriff of Surrey on the occurrence of the rebellion in 1745,
carried up a loyal address to king George II. and was knighted. Sir
Peter was a fellow of the Royal Society and of the Society of Anti-
quaries, and was a collector of MSS. chiefly relating to Dorsetshire.
But his valuable library and MSS. have all been scattered. He
bequeathed them to his kinsman and heir, a captain Peter Thomp-
son of the Surrey militia, by whom a portion was sold shortly after
sir Peter's death. The remainder was dispersed by Evans of Pall
Mall on the 29th April, 1815. The MS, from which we have
printed was probably the second article in lot 953 in the sale at
Evans's, described in the catalogue as " State Papers collected by
Cole, manuscript ; and State Papers in Elizabeth and James I. MSS."
The letters which have been brought together from these two
sources extend from 1582 to 1603, and touch more or less upon
every important public incident which occurred in Scotland during
those twenty eventful years. Considerable difficulty has been found
in arranging the letters in chronological order with any thing like abso-
lute certainty, from two causes which apply to all queen Elizabeth's
private letters ; one, that she seldom or never dated a letter ;
the other, that she often wrote in a style so involved and intricate,
and that her allusions to events and persons were covered with such
CAMD. SOC. c
a cloud of words, that it is occasionally difficult to penetrate to the
exact person or event alluded to. No letter has been placed in
chronological order but for reasons which perfectly satisfied the
editor. Those to which he was unable to assign a date which
was satisfactory to himself, he determined to throw into an appendix.
Farther consideration has enabled him to fix or approximate to the
dates of two or three of the letters in the appendix, but this
occurred too late for the letters to be inserted in their proper order.
An accidental mistake, also, which happened after the book had gone
to press, has thrown two or three letters into the appendix, which
ought not to have been there. In order to obviate any incon-
venience which may thus arise, and render the information in the
book as accessible as possible to inquirers, it is thought good to
give a sort of brief index to the historical subjects to which the
Letters i. ii. and iii. (October 1582 to April 1583) relate to the
government of Scotland, under the lords who were concerned in the
Raid of Ruthven. That was an endeavour, it will be remembered,
to free the country from the domination of the king's favourites
Lennox and Arran. Queen Elizabeth had learnt from Robert Cary,
that the heart of the young king was still set upon his minions,
although upon his tongue there was nothing but a determination to
be guided by the advice of Elizabeth. She at once hits the nail upon the
head, and shows what accurate acquaintance she had with James's
character and position, by advising him to take measures which would
" show himself," as she says, " not to incline to make himself a party
of any faction within his own realm, — an inconvenience most dan-
gerous either for himself or for any other prince to fall into, but
to have a care as prince and sovereign among his subjects, to
minister justice indifferently^ unto them, and to punish those that
shall be found to have forgotten themselves in duty towards him-
self." (p. 3.)
Nos. iv. and v. (July 1583 and May 1584) were written after Arran
had regained his ascendancy in the manner mentioned in p. 7. The
points worthy of note are the profuseness of James's expressions of
attachment to queen Elizabeth, and the title which he applies to her,
" la bonne femme avec le chapeau rouge." (p. 9.) Elizabeth had a
fancy for giving nicknames or familiar titles to those about her.
Burghley was her " spirit ;" Hatton her " eyelids ;" Whitgift
her "black husband;" Francis Bacon her "young lord chancel-
lor ; " Walsingham her " moon ; " and there exist copies of two letters
in which she addressed lord Mountjoy, then her deputy in Ireland, as
"mistress kitchen-maid."* James probably adopted a designation
which she had bestowed upon herself in some message sent to
him through his ambassador.
In letters vi. and vii. (January or February 1584-5) the great
queen makes her personal debut. Hitherto her letters had been
formal official documents. Now a question occurs of personal inte-
rest, and she herself steps forth upon the scene. For the first time,
as it would seem, she writes a private autograph letter to the Scot-
tish king. The master of Gray had dropped hints when in London
respecting his knowledge of some conspiracy against Elizabeth.
She is informed of what he had said. She sees him, but makes no
allusion to the subject. No sooner has he left London than she posts
off a messenger to James, who is charged to outstrip the Scottish am-
bassador on his journey, and arrive in Edinburgh before him. Her
letter to James combines timidity, curiosity, and cunning. She
intreats him to question the master secretly, as if she were not the
* Cotton MS. Titus, C. VII. fo. 123.
prompter, and to let her know the truth. The insignificant result
appears in letter vii.
Nos. viii. ix. and x. (June and July 1585) relate to the plot for
the overthrow of Arran, carried on with the connivance of sir
Edward Wotton. The first is a somewhat boyish letter of thanks
from James for a gift of horses, and for the mission to him of such a
pleasant companion as Wotton. In letter x. Elizabeth indicates her
estimate of James's character by cautioning him, in her shrewd
powerful way, against playing a double game with her. She
reminds him of the proverb respecting two strings to a bow, and
warns him that " princes' causes cannot be veiled so covertly that
no intelligence may bewray them ; " " we old foxes," she says, " can
find shifts to save ourselves by others' malice, and come by know-
ledge of greatest secret, specially if it touch our freehold." (p. 17.)
Nos. xi. xii. and xiii. (August 1585) relate to the death of lord
Russell in a border fray. This nobleman was the sir Francis
Russell who is mentioned in the ballad of The Raid of the Reidswire.
See sir Walter Scott's Border Minstrelsy. (Poetical Works, ii. 15.)
Nos. xiv. to xxi. and also lxxxiv. (August 1585 to July 1586)
relate to the league concluded between England and Scotland, and
to a separate " instrument," by which Elizabeth was to bind herself
to make James a certain annual allowance. The treaty for the
league was interrupted by the overthrow of Arran's power, effected
by the sudden return of the protestant lords who had taken refuge in
England. Elizabeth's vindication of herself (No. xv.) against the
possible charge of having given them any encouragement will be
read with interest. " Judge of me," she says, " as of a king that
carries no abject nature, and think this of me, that rather than your
danger, I will venture mine." (p. 23.) The discussion as to the
"instrument" calls forth Elizabeth's scornful pleasantry : "Touch-
ing an " instrument/' she says, " as your secretary terms it, that you
desire to have me sign, I assure you though I can play of some, and
have been brought up to know music, yet this discord would be so
gross as were not fit for so well-tuned music." (p. 30.)
No. xxii. (April 1586) is an official letter relating to the return to
Scotland of Archibald Douglas, one of Darnley's murderers.
Nos. xxiii. and xxiv. (October 1586) relate to Babington's conspi-
racy, and Nos. xxv. to xxix. (Jan. 1587 to July 1588) to queen
Mary's execution. Elizabeth rose to her full height in every time of
difficulty or danger, and these letters, written in the very torrent and
tempest of excitement, contain fervent impetuous passages, which
could have fallen from few pens but hers. Before Mary's death
we find her arguing strongly for its necessity. " By saving of her
life, they would have mine. Do I not, trow ye, make myself a
goodly prey for every wretch to devour ? Transfigure yourself into
my state, and suppose what you ought to do, and thereafter weigh
my life, and reject the care of murder, and shun all baits that may
untie our amities, and let all men know that princes bow best their
own laws, and misjudge not that you know not." (p.. 42.) " They
will make," she writes in another letter, " that her life may be saved,
and mine safe, which would God were true ! for when you make
view my long danger indured these four — well nigh five — months
. . . . you will grant with me, that if need were not more
than my malice, she should not have her merit." (p. 44.) After
the execution, she exclaims with the earnestness of a dreadful self-
deception, " God, the searcher of all hearts, ever so have misericorde
of my soul, as my innocency in that matter deserveth, and no other-
wise ; which invocation were too dangerous for a guilty conscience."
Nos. xxx. xxxi. xxxii. and lxxxv. (August to October 1588) relate
to the Armada. No. xxxi. is, perhaps, the noblest letter of the whole.
It has been printed before, from a copy in the Cotton Library, but
very imperfectly.^ Mr. Ryder has the original, and we have not
scrupled therefore to print it again (as we trust) with more accuracy.
No. xxxiii. xxxiv. xxxv. and lxxxix. relate to James's marriage
and journey to Denmark for his bride, on which occasion, it may be
worth noting, he was accompanied by chancellor Maitland. These
letters abound in stirring and emphatic passages. At p. 59, writing
in reference to a proposal for a peace with Spain, queen Elizabeth
thus makes mention of her quarrel with Philip II. " My wrongs be
such as nature of a king ought rather, for their particular, die than
not revenge, yet the top of my courage shall never overstretch my
heart from care of christian blood, and for that alone — no fear of
him — I protest before God from whom [proceed] both just quarrel
[and] faithful subjects, and [who] valiant acts, I doubt not, will
defend, yet, am I thus content that you shall follow the well-devised
method ; and, if he will give plain grant without a guileful meaning,
I will make known that in me the lack of so good a work shall never
With No. xxxvi. commences a series of letters relating to James's
conduct towards the earl of Huntly and the other Roman Catholic
lords who for many years were perpetually plotting to betray their
country into the hands of Spain. The English ministers, more clear-
sighted and more patriotic than James, watched these noble con-
spirators with the eyes of hawks, and by intercepting letters and
messengers, from time to time, unravelled enough of their dealings
to have convinced any one but James. For a long time he believed
that the notion of any such design was merely an English device to
sow discord between himself and his friends. And when, at length, the
truth became too apparent to admit of denial, his childish fondness
for some of the very persons who were striving to ruin him involved
his country in troubles and bloodshed, and called down upon him
many an indignant remonstrance from his neighbour queen, who,
" Cassandra-like, was never credited till the mishap had chanced."
(p. 70.) Letters xxxvi. xli. xlii. xlv. 1. li. liii. lvii. lviii.
lxxxvii. lxxxviii. xci. and xcv. (1589 to 1595), relate to this
subject. Compelled, over and over again, to take the field against
his " Spaniolised rebels," James did so ultimately with effect, to the
great joy of the Scottish Protestants and of Elizabeth. Among
these letters are some of the best both of Elizabeth and James.
Nos. 1. and liii., James's defences of his own feeble policy, are certainly
clever plausible letters. But for Elizabeth's replies, especially the
one which we have taken the liberty to print in a note at p. 98, from
Tytler's History of Scotland, they might have passed muster. Her
majesty unravels king James's fallacies, and sets before him his true
policy, in a very powerful way.
Nos. xliv. xlix. liv. lv. and lvi. (1592 to 1594) relate partly to
the subject last mentioned, but principally to Bothwell's mad freaks.
The last three of them are enlivened by a little dispute between
James and his awful correspondent, originating in his misappropriation
of a passage in her letter printed in the note at p. 98, and his use of
a quotation from Yirgil which she construed into a threat. " That
you may know," she tells him in her usual impressive way, " I am
that prince that never can endure a menace at my enemy's hand —
much less of one so dearly treated — I will give you this bond ; that
affection and kind treatment shall ever prevail, but fear or doubt
shall never procure aught from me." (p. 104.)
Nos. lx. lxi. and lxii. (1596), transfer us from the region of
history to that of romance. The story of Kinmont Willie (Scott's
Border Minstrelsy, Poetical Works, ii. 32) stands before us in a
reality scarcely less interesting than the rude lines of the picturesque
and exciting ballad. " Shall any castle or habitacle of mine," ex-
claims Elizabeth, " be assailed by a night-larcyn, and shall not my
confederate send the offender to his due punisher? Shall a friend
stick at that demand that he ought rather to prevent ? The law of
kingly love would have said 'nay.' "(p. 115.) "Commissioners I
will never grant for an act that he cannot deny that made : for what
so the cause be made no cause should have done that." (p. 116.)
She professes that she will not believe that James will " weigh so the
balances awry as that a mean man's taking — whether right or wrong
— should weigh down the poise that our treacherous castle's-break
should have no redress." (ibid.) James ultimately found out that he
had mistaken her majesty's meaning, and consented to her demand.
. Nos. lxiv. and lxv. (1598) relate to an appeal made by James to
his parliament for money to enable him to send ambassadors to
foreign countries in order to secure their friendship, and, if necessary,
their support in his claim to the succession to the English throne.
The subject was a peculiarly distasteful one to Elizabeth, and his
speech was perhaps a little misreported. It called forth an angry
letter, to which James made a successful because a temperate reply.
Both will be found characteristic and interesting.
Nos. lxvi. to lxix. and part of lxxii. (1598 to 1600) relate to an
accusation made against James by a miscreant named Valentine
Thomas. He accused the Scottish king of being party to a design
against the life of Elizabeth. James thought it of great moment to
have from Elizabeth a formal public disclaimer of her giving any
credit to the accusation. She charged James, "in God's name, to
believe that she was not of so viperous a nature [as] to suppose, or
have thereof a thought against him," but did not altogether satisfy him
in reference to the formal instrument which he desired.
During the last year or two of Elizabeth's life, the chief inter-
course between the courts of England and Scotland had reference
to the succession. James sent messengers to England upon mere
simulated pretexts, their real object being, to make their master
secure with the English nobility. The jealous queen was too con-
scious of her own infirmities, and too quick-sighted, not to pierce
through the alleged pretences, and every now and then the
decaying embers of her glorious life blazed forth after their old fiery
manner. At one time, James was called upon to defend himself
against a charge of having prepared her funeral before the time
(p. 132), and at another, he was shrewdly warned that a bird of the
air would carry news of feigned practices to an honest king (p. 135J.
In February 1601-2, when James apprises her of a rumour that a
fresh armada was fitting out in the ports of Spain, and offers
her with eager zeal the services of his subjects, she writes in ill
health more calmly and quietly than was usual to her, although
the mere allusion to a meditated invasion calls up the spirit of
1588. " I nothing fear," she says, " though they came, as nothing
doubting but their speed should be as shameful to them as the
precedent hath been." (p. 143.) Another subject of correspondence
at this time, was a scheme set on foot by James, for a league
of England, France, and Scotland, against Spain, which w r as
mixed up, oddly enough, with a proposal for friendship between
James and the Pope, on condition that prince Henry were sent to
Rome for education. Neither project was, probably, seriously
intended, but both furnished pretences for constant communication
with England, which was all that James desired. Letters lxxvii. to
lxxxii. (1602) relate to these subjects, and they are appropriately
followed, and the correspondence closed, by lxxxiii. which is, perhaps,
camd. soc. d
the last letter of importance that queen Elizabeth wrote. It has been
printed by Mr. Tytler from a copy in the State Paper Office, but as
it occurs in our Thompson MS. and is strictly connected with the
subject of the previous letters, we have not thought it worth while to
omit it merely on that account. It is full of the wonted fire. It
would be difficult, indeed, to find more vigorous English.
Besides these larger subjects, there are letters which have reference
to other not less important matters. No. xxxvii, relates to the
puritan reformers of the church of England, and their treatment by
Elizabeth ; No. xxxviii. to the delivery of O'Rourke, an Irish rebel ;
Nos. xxxix. xliii. and lii. relate to the embassies of Bowes ; xlvi. to
that of lord Borough; xl. to border matters; xlvii. to James's
answer to an application from Neville, earl of Westmoreland, " the
first traitor," says Elizabeth, " that ever my reign had ;" lxiii. is a
friendly mediation between James and the Scottish kirk ; and lxxxvi.
a similar mediation on behalf of the Low Countries; lxxiii. and
lxxiv. refer to Lodowick duke of Lennox and his visit paid to
England in 1601 ; lxxv. and lxxvi. relate to offers of assistance in
Ireland made by James in 1601 ; lxx. is James's reply to Elizabeth's
congratulations on his escape from the Gowrie conspiracy ; and xcii.
is one of those foolish, amorous letters which Elizabeth was weak
enough to permit her correspondents occasionally to address to her.
Its composition was evidently a heavy tax upon James's pedantry.
Some notion may be formed of the historical value of these letters
from our brief indication of the subjects to which they relate. But
they contain a great deal that is valuable, which can be learnt only
from themselves. Not more than eight or ten out of the ninety-five
are what is properly called State Papers. The rest are private
letters, genuine out-pourings from the minds of the writers, and
impressed with the stamp of the most unmistakeable individuality.
Elizabeth is portrayed by herself in what she termed her own
audacious words. It is easy to discover glaring faults in the rough
energy of her style. Her precise thought is too frequently rather
obscurely indicated, than exactly expressed, and her sentences are often
left imperfect. When excited, a mass of meaning is condensed into
a few words, and even then the writer seems in a hurry to get
through, as if anxious that mind and pen might be free to rush
onwards to some new portion of her subject. Her letters contain
none of the pretty flowing elegances of sentiment and expression
which now-a-days fall so gracefully from ladies' pens, but they are
terse, emphatic, animated; they teem with a native vigour; they
abound in homely, natural illustration; and are forcible, con-
sistent utterances of an independent individual will.
James's letters are not less characteristic. Now obsequious and
coaxing, now pedantic, now plausible, now pert; in one or two
instances, aiming at something like courtly gallantry and refinement ;
but never rising either to dignity of feeling, or nobility of expression.
On the one side, we have letters such as no one but Elizabeth ever
wrote, and which every one who is acquainted with the subject will
know to be Elizabeth's at a glance. On the other, we have com-
positions, which, save for a few peculiarities of expression, might have
been judged to have proceeded each of them from a different person,
I would except No. xxvii. which is James's acceptance of Elizabeth's
apology for putting his mother to death ; that I would fain hope
nobody could have written but king James. Throughout these letters
Elizabeth is, according to her own motto, semper eadem ; unyielding
even to obstinacy. What is James's state of mind or condition at any
particular time, can never be foretold. In his reign the variableness
of Scottish affairs became proverbial. Elizabeth is perpetually
alluding to it. " One while/' she writes in 1593, " I receive a writ
of oblivion and forgiveness, then a revocation with new additions of
later consideration ; sometimes, some you call traitors with proclaim,
and, anon, there must be no proof allowed though never so apparent."
Numbers of her letters contain similar expressions of astonishment at
the rapidity with which change succeeded change in the kingdom
unhappily subjected to her correspondent's sway.
And this distinction between the general character of their letters
leads us to notice a point of considerable historical importance on
which these letters directly bear, and with the mention of which we
will bring our remarks to a close. The policy of Elizabeth and her
ministers towards Scotland is ordinarily represented in a way which
is almost incredible. We are desired to believe that the course of
conduct adopted by those shrewd, far-seeing persons, towards their
neighbour nation, was uncertain as the wind ; that, heedless of con-
sequences, and careless of principles, they upheld first one faction
and then another, and were constant in nothing, save in a desire to
profit by the strifes and embarrassments of the Scottish people.
Elizabeth has been set forth in this respect as the very demon of
discord, ever occupied maliciously in blowing coals of strife, which
seldom needed encouragement in poor misguided Scotland. This
view has been adopted by writers of both countries. By Scottish
writers, partly, perhaps, because it tended to magnify the import-
ance of their country. By English writers, because Scottish affairs
have seldom been sought to be accurately understood. Upon
this point we desire to see an entire revision of the historical evidence.
All the evidence that we have examined, and certainly all that is
contained in this book, points to two principles which consistently
regulated the English policy towards Scotland during the time of
Elizabeth. The one was, a determination that no continental power
should interfere by force of arms in Scottish affairs; the other, a
similar determination to uphold protestantism and the protestant party,
in opposition to that party which befriended Mary, and to that religion
which Elizabeth (smarting under the dangers to which she was ex-
posed by the papal excommunication) termed " Christian treason "
(p. 91). The variableness and uncertainty which have been attri-
buted to Elizabeth's policy are to be found only in that of James.
Political inconsistency was contrary to her character and to the
genius of her reign. From the hour of her accession, she was the
head of protestant Europe. Wherever protestantism needed succour,
England under Elizabeth was ready to give aid. That aid was
given in France and in the Low Countries. So was it in Scotland.
James's fickleness might occasionally render it necessary to change
the particular direction in which the assistance was bestowed; but, so
far as regards the evidence in the book now sent forth, it is clear, and
we believe it will be found equally clear in whatever other quarter
the subject is investigated, that so long as Elizabeth was on the
throne, the principles we have stated guided the English policy to-
wards Scotland, and were ever consistently maintained.
One point in reference to Elizabeth's orthography ought to be
borne in mind whilst perusing such of the following letters as are
printed from her originals. Her majesty made no difference in spelling
between "the," the article, and "they," the pronoun. As she wrote,
both those words were " the." This peculiarity is not quite invari-
able, but it occurs so frequently that it may be termed her general
rule. For example, " I doubt so much, that I wot not whether I
dream, slumber, or hear amiss, when news was brought me the
[they] were in your bosom whom I have heard from yourself your
heart abhorred. I thought [it] so strange, that I did suppose the
lengths of miles betwixt us might make way to untrue leasings
enough, and scarce could afford my belief the grant to trust it "
(p. 85). Her majesty's orthography is often very strange, but we
are not aware of any other peculiarity that will render her letters
difficult to be read. We have endeavoured, in accordance with the
rule of the Camden Society, to present her exact spelling, which in a
first publication is, in our judgment, the best course. It promotes
accuracy, by fixing the editor's attention upon his MS. ; it renders
the publication almost in the nature of a facsimile, and therefore, a
better substitute for the original in case it should happen to be lost ;
and it preserves personal peculiarities, which although minute are
not altogether without interest. When Elizabeth writes " swarve,"
"desarve," "aduansing," "skars" (for scarse), "wacking" (for
waking), and "vacabond;" or James "aither," " yow," "airt," and
"uillaine;" or Charles I. "Agust," pronounced "agust;" we can
scarcely doubt that we are informed of the very way in which those
words ordinarily fell from the royal lips.
The Camden Society is especially indebted to two gentlemen in
connection with this publication : i. To sir Archer Denman Croft,
baronet, a member of the Society, who, being on a visit to his
relative Mr. Ryder at Oaksey rectory, made himself acquainted with
the letters in Mr. Ryder's possession, and first suggested the idea of
their publication ; and ii. to Mr. Ryder himself, who has facilitated
the publication in the kindest possible manner, by permitting the
editor to have the freest access to the original MSS. It is to be
hoped that at some future time he will allow the Society to make
known to the world the contents of his collection of Lauderdale
KING JAMES VI. OF SCOTLAND.
QUEEN ELIZABETH AND KING JAMES VI. OF
QUEEN ELIZABETH TO JAMES VI. OF SCOTLAND.
18TH OCTOBER, 1582. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 1. ORIG.
Letter of advice to the Scottish king, written upon the return of sir
George Cary, the special ambassador sent by Elizabeth into Scotland
on the occurrence of the Raid of Ruthven.
" The late accident" or " alteration" happened in Scotland, which is alluded to
in the following letter, was the celebrated Raid of Ruthven. Scotland was at that
time divided into two great parties . One of them believed that the welfare of the coun-
try was to be promoted by close alliance with France, the partial restoration of queen
Mary, and the reascendency of Roman Catholicism. The other party was equally strenu-
ous for friendship with England, the maintenance of the youthful monarch on the throne
in opposition to his mother, and the depression, or if possible the extirpation, of the an-
cient faith. Each of these parties governed the country alternately through the medium
of a succession of royal favourites. The king's present favourite was Esme Stewart, duke
of Lennox, who threw all his influence into the scale of Roman Catholicism, and plotted to
perpetuate his authority by the destruction of the earls of Gowrie, Mar, and other leaders
of the protestants. Scorning to be tamely sacrificed, the protestant noblemen determined
to save themselves, and to bring about the ruin of Lennox, and an alteration in the govern-
ment, by obtaining possession of the person of the sovereign. An opportunity for effecting
*heir purpose was afforded by James's acceptance of an invitation to visit Ruthven castle,
the seat of the earl of Gowrie. When the visit had been paid, and James desired to
quit the castle, his egress was refused. The master of Glammis interposed his burly per.
son before the royal youth, and coarsely commented upon the tears which burst forth
upon being treated with such indignity, in the well-known words, " Better bairns greet
than bearded men." Of course Elizabeth favoured the party of the Ruthven conspirators*
CAMD. SOC. B
2 LETTERS OF
as that which was most friendly to England. She sent sir George Cary and Robert Bowes
into Scotland to communicate with them upon their success, and to endeavour to wean
James from his fondness for the now banished Lennox. Cary had an audience with the
Scottish sovereign on the 12th of September, 1582. But, so far as James was concerned, he
was unable to execute his commission with much effect. With more firmness than might
have been anticipated, either from his general character or his age, the boy-sovereign
warmly repelled Cary's accusations against his favourite, and indignantly declared his
disbelief of the charges preferred against him. Bowes remained at Edinburgh as Eli-
zabeth's ambassador in Scotland, but Cary returned to London very shortly after his inter-
view with James. The following letter was addressed by Elizabeth to James upon re-
ceiving Cary's report of his mission. The conclusion and signature are in Elizabeth's au-
The return to Scotland of the earl of Angus, which is alluded to in the last paragraph of
this letter, was a result of the interference of Cary and the success of the Ruthven conspi-
rators. He had lived in England in banishment since the death of his uncle the regent
Morton in June, 1581. In illustration of the circumstances alluded to in this letter, refe-
rence may be made to Bowes's Correspondence, p. 179 ; Ty tier's Scotland, viii. 128 ; Ro-
bertson's Scotland, book vi.
Right highe right excellent and mightie prince, and deerest bro-
ther and cosin, We have nowe, uppon the returne to our presence of
our servaunt sir George Cary, understood particulate by his reporte
in howe good parte youe acceptid our late sending him and our ser-
vaunt Bowes unto youe, to use their best meanes and indevour in
our name to staie that no dainger or preiudice might grow by the late
alteracon happenid in your realme, ether to your owne person or to
your state, interpreting the same to procede (as indeede youe have
iust cause so to thinck y t) of our synceare well meaning towards youe,
which doth geue us iust cause to thinck our good will and care had
of your safety well bestowed ; and althoughe we haue already geuen
expresse commandement unto our seruaunt Bowes, to signifie unto
youe howe greatlie this your kind and frendlie requitall of our well
wishing unto youe did lyke us, yet could we not rest satisfied unles
we did also take knowledge therof, and yeld youe speciall thancks for
the same by theis our letres.
And for that our said servaunt hath also declared unto us, that in
toeken of the great confidence you repose in our professed frendship
and good will towards youe, youe meane hereafter to depend much
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 3
uppon our good advice and counsell for the setling of your affaires
and the ordering of such causes of importaunce as do neerest concerne
youe, we cannot but most frendlie and willinglie accept to yeld unto
you, in that sorte also, the best helpe and furtheraunce we can, to
the satisfyeing of your expectacon : wherein, for that the late acci-
dent happenid in your realme doth nowe minester unto us fitt occa-
sion to delyuer unto youe our best advice and counsell, what we
thinck meete to be don by youe for the present staie of such further
inconveniences as maie hereafter ensue therof, we would not omitt to
let youe understand, that we thinck yt wil be a very good and suer
coorse for youe in this case, to haue the matter brought to his due
triall and examinacon in your intendid convencon, to th'end that
that partye that shal be found faulty e, maye ether receaue his deseruid
punishment, or tast of your clemencye, as by youe shalbe thought
meete, and that the other maie, for their better satisfaction, be cleerid
from any blame that otherwies shall perhappes hereafter be undeser-
uedlie cast upon them, by thos that are unacquaintid with the
state of the cause ; which manner of proceeding, besides that yt will
faule out greatlie to the generall satisfaction of the world, in a matter
subiect to so many dyverse iudgementes and construccions, youe shall
also therebie shewe yourselfe not to inclyne to make yourself a partye
of any faction within your owne realme (an inconvenience most daun-
gerous ether for yourself or for any other prince to faule into), but to
have a care, as prince and soueraigne among your subiects, to mi-
nister iustice indifferentlye unto them, and to punishe thos that shal .
be found to have forgotten themselues in duty towardes you. In so
doing, youe shall cleere and remove all daingers and inconveniences
that maie hereafter followe by a kind of smothering of such dainger-
pus sparks that of late have appeared within your realme, and maye
in tyme breake out into a more daingerous flame, yf yt be not ad-
visedlie preventid : wherein wee geue youe no other advice then we
ourselves would put in execucon, yf the state of our realme stood in
lyke termes, of whos well doing we pray you to assure yourselfe we
are no lesse carefull then of our owne.
We maye not here forget to yeld youe also our speciall thanckes
for your most frendlie yelding to gratefye us in our request for our
cousin th'earle of Angus, in whom yf we had not found such zeale
and constant dutyfull affection towards youe as gave us iust cause to
thinck the poore gentleman worthy to be restored agayne to your
good opinion and favor, we would neuer have taken uppon us to haue
recommendid him unto youe, but would rather, insteede of well wesh-
ing unto him, haue bent our selues to the uttermost against him.
And so, right high right excellent and mighty prince, we leave
you to the protection of Almighty God, Geuen under our signet, at
our castell of Wyndsor, the xviij th of October, in the xxiiij th yere of
Your verey lovinge sistar and cousin,
[Addressed,'] Elizabeth R.
To the right highe right excellent and
mightie prince, our deerest brother
and cosin, the king of Scottes.
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
29th march, 1583. copy in Thompson ms. p. 1.
William Davison is about to return to England — James professes sin-
cere good will towards Elizabeth — is about to send colonel Stewart
on an embassy to the English court.
The party of France was stunned by the daring suddenness with which the Raid of
Ruthven was accomplished. The failure of a too-early attempt at a counter-movement
completed their overthrow, and for several months the revolution was acquiesced in
throughout Scotland. The kirk was triumphant, and James was compelled to act —
and acted to admiration — the part of cordial concurrence in all the measures of the
English and protestant party. About Christmas 1582 La Mothe Fenelon, so long the
French ambassador in England, was sent by his sovereign into Scotland to lay the foun-
dation of a new attempt for James's recovery of freedom. His instructions directed
him, 1. To make inquiry into James's actual situation ; and, 2. To endeavour to
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 5
bring about an arrangement for a junction of Mary and James in the government of
the kingdom. Elizabeth could not with decency, as Robertson remarks, refuse La Mothe
Fenelon liberty to execute his commission, but she sent Davison with him to watch and
thwart his movements. The two ambassadors arrived together in Edinburgh in January
1582-3, and at the end of the same month, Fenelon was joined by De Menainville, a man of
a bolder spirit. The watchfulness of Davison and the influence of the church prevented
the French ambassadors from being able to effect any immediate change, and, after a resi-
dence of nearly three months in Edinburgh, Davison was recalled. The following letter
was sent by James to Elizabeth on Davison's return.
Madam and dearest sister, The bearer heirof, your servand,* re-
commendit to us by youre letres brocht be him, hes seene the progres
of materis heir sen his cumming, sa specially as we will forbear to re-
pete thame, in all quhilkis we affirme he hes behaved himself very
discreitlye, and to our gude lyking. For our self, in summe, we
praye youe, dearest sister, to thinke and esteeme of us as of him that
ye have assuretly power of in all thingis tending to youre honour,
suirtie, and contentment as of ony levand ; and sa, leuing the further
declaration of our mynde to the present bearar, and to oure nixt mes-
senger, coronel Stewart, a man earnestly affected to the intertine-
ment of our amytie, we commit you to God. At Halyrud house,
the xxix. of March, 1583.
Your maist loving and affectionat brother and cousing,
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
23RD APRIL, 1583. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 2.
The king has sent two ambassadors into England, but colonel Stewart,
the bearer of this letter, is especially charged to communicate with
Elizabeth in private on the hinges behalf.
Colonel Stewart, the" next messenger," promised to be sent to England at the end of the
* Davison left Edinburgh, on his return to England, on the day following the date of
this letter. Bowes Correspondence, p. 397.
6 LETTERS OF
last letter, was William Stewart, a son of " the good" lord Ochiltree, and brother to James
Stewart the newly created earl of Arran. He was also brother-in-law to John Knox,
whose second wife, Margaret Stewart, was colonel Stewart's sister. He was colonel of the
king's body-guard, and was probably the only person with whom at this time the king
communicated confidentially. His embassy to England, to which the following letter re-
lates, was now the turning point of James's conduct and policy. In the circumstances of
his kingdom he could not stand alone. Help from one or other of the powers who alter-
nately swayed the fortunes of unhappy Scotland was absolutely necessary for him. Not-
withstanding he had managed to drop into Fenelon's ear a secret assurance that, " al-
though he had two eyes, two ears, and two hands, he had but one heart, and that was
French" (Tytler, viii. 154); and, notwithstanding also his anxiety to take advantage of the
scheme for his liberation, which, in spite of Davison, De Menainville had concocted, James
felt the infinite danger to his throne and hopes if French assistance were to be followed by
even a partial restoration of his mother or of his mother's faith. He determined, before he
gave further encouragement to France, to endeavour to come to a thorough understanding
with Elizabeth. With that view he despatched to Elizabeth colonel Stewart as his own
ambassador, the Ruthven party joining with Stewart Mr. John Colville, who was an
active partisan on their behalf. They are the " two gentlemen" mentioned in the following
A madame ma soeur, la royne d'Angleterre.
Madam ma sceur, Ayant despeche par deuerse uous ces deux gentilz
homines, mes seruiteurs, pour traicter et negotier aueques vous une
parfaicte et asseuree union et amitie entre nous et nos royaulmes, ie
uous ay uoulu quant et quant adreser ce porteur en particulier, pour
uous communiquer plus priuement mes bonnes et sinceres intentions
en uostre endroit, uous priant de luy adiouster ferme foy comme feries
a moy mesme, et d'y a porter de uostre part si bonne correspondence
qui me puise rendre mutueellement asseure de uotre amiable et sin-
cere disposition enuers mon bien et contentement, sur quoy me repo-
sant, prieray Dieu, madame ma treschere soeur, de uous maintenir en
sa sainte et digne garde. De mon palais d' Halyrud hous, ce 23
Uostre tres affectionnee frere et cousin,
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 7
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
9TH JULY, 1583. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 5.
James thanks Elizabeth in terms of very ardent regard for her affec-
tionate letters — he reciprocates her affection, and wishes there were a
window in his breast that she might read his thoughts — thanks her for
offered advice in his very important affairs, and wishes he may be able
to follow it — he sent her a ring with the same intention with which she
accepted it — she has promised that she will believe nothing of him who
sent the ring until she knows the truth from himself — he assures her
that he will do the same towards the good woman with the red bonnet.
Colonel Stewart's embassy to England was not fruitless. He and his companion
returned home with proposals for a league between the two countries, to be accom-
panied by what James particularly stood in need of, a yearly pension of 10,000 crowns, to
be paid to him by the English queen. They were also the bearers of a letter from Eliza-
beth to James, full of naming affection and excellent advice. But the Scottish court was
in no humour, on Stewart's return, to enter upon the consideration of the proposed league.
The French intrigue for James's recovery of his liberty had so far ripened that nothing was
wanting for its completion but Stewart's presence and assistance. He reached Leith from
England on the 7th June, 1583, just after the arrival of tidings that Lennox had died
suddenly in France; an event which left Arran (Stewart's brother) without a rival in the
favour of the king, and conspired with many other circumstances to hurry on the execution
of the plot. On the 26th June the king rode from Falkland to St. Andrew's, on a visit to
his grand -uncle the earl of March. On the day following his majesty was suddenly in-
spired with a curiosity to view the castle, and took his way thither accompanied by some
of his usual attendants. The king was no sooner within the castle walls than colonel
Stewart shut the gates, and allowed no one to enter except those who were privy to the
plot. The lords of the French party hastened to the assistance of the king ; Gowrie's prin-
cipal supporters found it prudent to take to flight ; and the whole character of the govern-
ment was at once altered without a blow being struck on either side. Bowes, the English
ambassador, was as much taken by surprise as any one : he hurried to St. Andrew's, and
found the king surrounded by the friends of his mother, and entirely governed by colonel
Stewart. After a few days, the necessity for doing something to pacify Elizabeth was
pressed upon the attention of the king's new advisers. The council replied with all courtesy
to the English proposal for a national league, and James answered her majesty's affec-
tionate letter, in terms equally affectionate, and no doubt equally sincere. The follow-
ing is his letter. In a passage near the end there is a curious allusion to the queen by
the title of la bonne femme avec le chapeau rouge.
Madame ma soeur, Jay receu uostre letre, par la quelle f apercoy
8 LETTERS OF
que, parmy uoztre doites* et sages propos, une si ardente beneuolence,
et non feinte affection, se manifeste, tellement que ie suis tout inha-
bile d' y faire responce par escript, beaucoupe moins le raquitter par
mez faicts en effect ; mais le plaisir que i'y prens me contraint, puis
que ie n'y puiz plus faire, de m'efforcer de uous de le repeter encore,
que ie ne le puis faire si parfaictement comme uous l'aues mez par
escript, uous supleant, madame, de uous monster aussi effectuell-
ment moen droit comme uous l'aues franchement promiz par escript ;
mais estant assure qu'il n'ya person qui peult si amiablement metre
para escript sans un ardent et interne affection qui y correspondast,
beacoup moins un d'une si noble nature comme ie uous cognois
d'estre, ie ne m'en ueux plus doubter ; mais, pour suiuray mon propos,
ores la ou uous souhaitters au commencement de vostre letre, que
vostre pensee peust estre aussi aisiment ueue que uostre uisage, et
quatorsf (sans plus enuoier des embassadeurs) uous ne faudries point
deuenir uous mesmes la ou ie uoiroye une ardante afection sans ma-
cule, accompagnee demaintj autres signes de beneuolence et sincere
amitie, tellement que ie suis du tout inhabile de uous raquitter tant ;
seulement ie souphaitteray, comme fit un philosophe, qu'il yeust une
fenestre en ma poietrine, par ou vous puissies aussi uoir ma pensee ;
car la uous trouerries une acceptation entres bone part de uoz-si gra-
tieux et amiables ofres. Et quant a ce que uous ofrez de me donner
uostre meilleur conseil en mes plus importantes afaires, en uous sou-
haittant d'estre plus sage, pour cest effect, madame, uous naues point
besoing de tellement souphaitter, mais iay bien besoign de me sou-
phaitter abill d'effectter le conseil que [uous] me doneris, uous asseurant
que ie suiurray plus volontiers le uostre que d'autruy qui soit au monde,
non seulement pour vostre sagesse, qui uous rend apt a ce faire, mais
aussi pour la fiddile affection qui l'accompagnera. Et quant a ce que
[vous] me mandezen si bone part, que uous receues labague que ie uous
enuoyi, et subs quelles conditions, madame, la condition subs laquelle
* So in the MS. perhaps for duites, in the sense of apt or skilful,
f So in the MS perhaps for qu*alors.
X So in the MS. perhaps for de tant.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 9
uous la prennet explique mieux mon intention que ie neuesse se en
faire moy mesme, car ie uous l'enuoye sus ceste mesme intention
aueque laquelle uous l'aues prise, uous supliant, aussi, madame, que
quand quelques rapports uous uiendront de cesluy la qui uous a en-
uoye la bague, uous resouuenies de la promese qu'il a faite par icelle,
en ne les croyant point que uous n'en sachies la verite par luy mesme,
en uous asseurant qu'il fera de mesme a la bone femme aueques le
chapeau rouge. Ainsi, en priant Dieu de la conseruer en sa tres-
sainte et digne garde, ie uous diz adieu. Du chasteau de Saint
Andre ce neufieme de iullet, 1583.
Uostre tres affectionne frere et cousin,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
18th may, 1584. rydermss. eliz. no. 39. orig.
Elizabeth will send an answer by a servant of her own to a request made
Within a few months after the Ruthven party were dispossessed of their ill-gotten au-
thority, thfcy entered into a conspiracy for its violent resumption. The new plot was dis-
covered; Gowrie was beheaded for his share in it; the earls of Mar and Angus were
compelled to seek refuge in England ; and all the power of the state was confirmed more
firmly than ever in the hands of the anti-English and anti-protestant earl of Arran.
The defeat of the conspiracy was followed by a request from the king of Scotland to Eli-
zabeth, that she would deliver into his hands the earls of Mar and Angus and the other
rebel "lords of Scotland," who had found shelter in England. The following letter is
Elizabeth's reply to that request. William Davison was " the servant" whom she sent to
James in conformity with herpromise in this letter, and Davison's verbal answer to the Scottish
king, refusing on Elizabeth's behalf to deliver up "the Scottish lords," may be seen in
Tytler's Scotland, viii. 206. The words at the conclusion of this letter, " Your loving
sister and cousin, if so well your merits shall require," together with the signature, are in
the queen's autograph.
Right excellent right highe and mightie prince, our deerest bro-
ther and cousin, In our hartiest manner we commend us unto you.
Uppon view of your late letter sent unto us by the bearer, your ser-
vaunt, and uppon his reporte made unto us of the course of proceed-
CAMD. SOC. C
10 LETTERS OF
ing there, we weare sorie to see the state of that realm reduced to so
hard and perplexed termes ; and as towching the request conteynid
in your said letter, after due consideracon had of the same, we meane
to send a servaunt of our owne with our answer, which you shall
fynd to be such as we in honnor maie give, and you in reason ought
to be satisfyed withall; and so, right highe right excellent and
mightie prince, our deerest brother and cousin, we commit you to
the protection of Almightie God. Geven at our mannour of Gren-
wich the xviij th of Maie, in the xxvj th yere of our raigne.
Your lovinge sistar and cousin, if so wel your merites shal require,
To the right highe and mightie prince
our dearest brother and cousin the
king of Scottes.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
JANUARY 1584-5. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 23. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen wishes James privately to ask the master of Gray, upon his
allegiance, whether he does not know the price of her blood to be paid
to her intended murderer by some of the king's " near-a-kin," and to
send her an answer loithin three or four days after the master of
Gray's return to Scotland.
Arran's restoration to authority, confirmed as it was by the suppression of the Gowrie
conspiracy, was followed by the most oppressive and palpable misgovernment. In opposi-
tion to the opinions of the people, presbyterianism was made to yield to episcopacy ; the
estates of the adverse party were confiscated and parcelled out among the earl's principal
supporters; the king was kept immersed in the pleasures of the chase and of the table,
and in other amusements in which his youthful majesty took delight; whilst the proud fa-
vourite carried himself with almost regal state, and with a haughtiness most contemptuous
and offensive. It was easy to foresee that such a state of things could not endure long. The
person who led the way towards putting an end to it, was a youthful hypocrite who for some
years after this time played aconspicuous part in the history of Scotland, — the master of Gray.
Trusted by Mary, he betrayed her, as a means of securing favour with her son ; trusted by Ar-
ran, he treacherously proposed to the English court subtle schemes for his patron's overthrow
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 1 1
and the restoration of the banished lords. A mission to Elizabeth which was confided to
Gray by Arran gave him a safe opportunity of secretly arranging his plot. His proposals
were received favourably by the English ministers. The renewal of the league with England,
which was one of the avowed objects of Gray's mission, but which in all probability wasdecep.
tively proposed by Arran, was eagerly caught at by the queen's government. Itwas determined
that sir Edward Wotton, a man of varied talent, and especially likely to be acceptable to
the king on account of his skill in all the sports of the field, should be sent into Scotland,
publicly to settle the terms of the league, and privately to advance Gray's plot against
Arran. To aid Wotton in the attainment of these double objects, many other means (some
of which will appear hereafter) were devised for winning the heart of the king and
undermining the power of his favourite. It would seem from the following letter, which
was written after Gray had left the English court, and whilst he was on his way home to
Scotland, that he mixed, when in London, in other plots than his own. Elizabeth was at this
time exposed to many attempts upon her life, chiefly concocted amongst the persecuted
Roman catholics. One had just come to light, in which the suggester was said to be Mor-
gan, Mary's agent on the continent and a person deeply engaged in anti-protestant in-
trigues, and the agent was Thomas Parry, who had been formerly in Elizabeth's household.
The following letter may either refer to that conspiracy, or to the general belief amongst
protestants that the Roman catholic powers were ready to give a reward to any person who
would rid the world of the great upholder of protestantism. The letter is wholly in the
queen's handwriting, but was omitted to be signed; perhaps purposely, on account of its
I mynde not deale, my deare brother, as wise men commenly coun-
sel, to try my trust with trifles first, and therby iuge of like event,
but haue agried to make my first assay of your many promises and
desires that you might knowe the way to please me most ; and therfor
do require, that a question may, upon allegeance, be demanded by
yourselfe of the mastar Gray, whether he knoweth not the prise of
my bloude, wiche shuld be spild by bloudy hande of a murtherar,
wiche some of your nere-a-kin did graunt. A sore question, you
may suppose, but no other act than suche as I am assured he knowes,
and therfor I hope he wyl not dare deny you a truthe ; but yet I be-
seche you let it not seme to come from me, to whom I made no sem-
blance but ignorance. Let him suppose that you receaued it elz-
where. O most wicked treachere, to gusche the droppes of innocent
bloud, yea, of suche as perhaps hath saued often thers ! As this
toucheth me nearest, so use it with best commodity, and let the an-
swer be speded after a thre or foure clayes after his retourne. It
12 LETTERS OF
may please you, aske it no sonar, lest he suspect it come of me, from
whom, according to trust, let it be kept.
Your most assured sistar and cousin,
God euer kepe you from al daungerous attempts, and graunt you
many yeres to liue and raigne.
Au roy d'Escose, mon bon frere et cousin.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
JANUARY OR FEBRUARY 1584-5. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 19. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen has received the master of Gray's limping answer — he
does not say who bade him talk with Morgan, nor who ivas to have
been the queen's murderer — Scottish persons should be forbidden to
assemble in Ireland — the banished lords have been directed to quit the
The nature of Gray's answer to Elizabeth's question suggested in the last letter may be
seen from the following. It may be inferred from it, that Gray had unquestionably held a
conversation with Morgan upon the subject of Elizabeth's assassination. As Morgan was
not, I believe, in England at this time, I rather incline to think these letters do not relate
to Parry's plot, but to a presumed general intention to assassinate Elizabeth whenever a
proper agent could be found.
I haue, right deare brother, receaued your frendly and affectionat
letters, in wiche I perceaue the mastar Grayes halfe, limping answer,
wiche is lame in thes respectz : the one, for that I se not that he told
you who bade him talke with Morgan of the price of my bloude,
wiche he knowes, I am assured, right wel ; nor yet hathe named the
man that shuld be the murtherar of my life. You wel perceaue that
nothing may nearelar touche me than this cause, and therfor, accord-
inge to the bond of nature and the promes of strikte frindeship, let
me coniure you that this vilanye may be confest. I hope I may
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 13
stand you in bettar sted than that you wyl shew you uncareful of
suche a treason.
And because I desiar that no cause be giuen of your part to make
me, or the lokers on, to slandar your good wyl, I heare, out of my
realme of Ireland, that Skotz assemble in great troupes. Giue you
charge immediatly, I most hartely require you, that, upon paine of
treason, the desist from suche action, and so shal you bind me to re-
compence suche honorable traictment.
And wher I perceaue that you expected the erles departur from the
bordars, it is true, vpon my honor, that I dispached furthewith a
charge unto them, wiche the answered, after a wekes leasur, that
the wer so indetted to my subiectz that the could not, but I am sure
by this time the ar departed. As for ther not banisment out of my
realme, I haue, by my secretary, signified to the mastar Gray what
reasons necessary to be considered moues me therunto, specially sins
the offar to submit themselues to suffar as if the wer my subiectz of-
fending me, and to take condigne pain if, while the bid in my gou-
uernement, the disobay ther alegiance to you. And this, with the
rest, I trust wyl content you, as one that I wyll take as great care of,
for your honor and your surty, as whosoever may giue you more
golden promes with leaden performance.
I beseche you let your answer be retournid me with your best
spede and most commoditye. Thus, not willing to molest you, I,
with my humblest deuotion, intreat the Almighty to protect you from
al inconveniens, and grant you many happy yeares.
Your most assured sistar and cousin,
A monsieur mon bon frere et cousin le roy d'Escosse.
14 LETTERS OF
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
27th june 1585. copy in Thompson ms. p. 3.
The king thanks Elizabeth for her loving dispatch of his late ambassador
the lord justice clerk, for sending to him so wise a gentleman as Ed-
ward Wotton and so discreet a gentleman as Robert Alexander, as also
for a present of horses and for loving letters ; in return for all which
he offers his person, and all that is his, to be used by her as a loving
mother would use her natural and devoted child.
We have seen that in pursuance of the determination of the English court to assist the
master of Gray in his treacherous schemes for the overthrow of Arran, sir Edward Wotton
was sent ambassador to James in April, 1585. The further to win the heart of the young mo-
narch, Elizabeth wrote " loving letters" to him; treated sir Lewis Bellenden, the lord justice
clerk, who visited England on a special embassy, with distinguished favour; and also for-
warded to James, under the care of Robert Alexander, a present of eight couple of buck-
hounds and some horses of peculiar beauty and value. No game could have been better
played or have been more successful. Wotton made an easy conquest of the king's heart,
the negotiation of the treaty went on merrily, and James poured forth his gratitude to Eli-
zabeth in fervent expressions of devotion to her service. The following is one of his letters
Madame and dearest sister, I must most earnistly crave and be-
seiche you to appardone me for my long delay of wrytting, in respect
I thoclit youre ouin seruant Robert Alexander, the bearar heirof,
fittest to be the carrier of it, for if I hadd als oft written thanks within
this short space as ye furnishit subiect, than had I but importunatitt
your eies with reading, and yit done nothing that had worthely re-
quyted the great good will of such a prince as ye are ; quhomto I am,
within their fiue dayes, in so manyfold wayes beholden. By no deidis
(much less wry ttes) I can worthely requyte your using of me. For,
sett asyde youre louing dispatche, to my full contentement, of my
lait ambassadoure, justice clerk, as also the directing towardis me of
so honourable and so wyse a gentleman, so well affected to the amitie
and so well thocht of by you, as Eduard Uotten, youre ambassa-
doure, as also the directing since of so' discreit a gentleman and so fitt
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 15
for his ofice as your forsaid seruant Alexander, with a number of so
faire and good horses as he brocht (the most acceptable present that
euer came to me), as also your louing letters sent als uell by justice
clerk as by youre ambassadure and Alexander ; — sett asyde, I say,
thise forsaid tokinnis and proofes of youre inuard freindship, — your
only memoriall tuching the horsis sent to me with youre forsaid am-
bassadure hath more bound me unto you then any letteris, presentis,
or deidis of amitie, that euer ye haue or coulde haue bestoued upon
me ; for not only wayre the wordis thairof most louing, but also the
purpois discouered such kinde cairfulness in you ouer me, as it
seamid rather to haue proceidit from sum alter ego than from any
strainge and forraine prince, quhich I can on no wayes requyte bot
by ofring unto you my person, and all that is myne, to be used and
imployed by you as a louing mother wold use hir naturall and
deuoted chylde. Thus, praying you euer to use and imploy me so,
I pray most humbly the creatoure, madame and dearest mother, to
preserve you from all youre foes quhatsumeuir, to cast thaime in
their ouin snayres, as he did Haman, and to increase your days in all
honoure and happines, as they haue euer yet bene. From Dumferm-
ling, the xx7. day of June, 1585.
Your most louing and deuoted brother and sonn,
Madame, I haue, according to my promeis in my last letter, bene
trying out yone alledgit report of the lord Maxuellis concerning you,
quhich, so farr as I can tray, uas indeid uanted of by him, as also
that he had the lyke fauoure of me, both untreu, quhairof Houson on
bouman, a servant of the lord Scroopis, gott moyen, by some that
wayre about the sayd lord. He aduertissit Jonston of it.
16 LETTERS OF
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
19th july, 1585. copy in Thompson ms. p. 8.
The king reiterates his professions of good will, and prays the queen not
to give attention to rumours to the contrary.
This present shall serue, madame and mother, to assure you of
the constancie of my professite good will in my letter with Alexan-
der, and of the continuance of that promesit course in religion and
league, as, also, it shall serue for a counterpoise to reportis maid, or
to be maid, by any seditious fellows in the contrair of this preseding.
Thus, praying you to contineu me in your good grace, and, notwith-
standing of quhatsumeiur bruitis or reports, to keepe still one eare
for me, I committ you, madame and dearest mother, to Goddis holie
protection. From Faklande, the 19th of Julie, 1585.
Your most loving and affectionate brother and sonne,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
JUNE OR JULY, 1585. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 2. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen alludes to James's former " contrarious dealings" and cau-
tions him against duplicity — who seeketh two strings to one bow may
shoot strong, but not straight — princes' causes can never be conducted
so covertly that they can be concealed, and " we old foxes " can find
ways of talcing advantage of others' malice — it becomes kings, therefore,
to deal sincerely — promises to suspend her judgment of any hearsay
until she receives James's own answer.
The following letter may be an answer to No. VIII. It was certainly written at the time
I have assigned to it. It manifests very plainly Elizabeth's notion of James's character,
and is, moreover, a good specimen of her customary dark but emphatic style. The allu-
sion to Wotton and Alexander fixes the date to June or July, 1585. If not an answer
to No. VIII. it may possibly have been written a few days before it. No. VIII., it will
be remembered, was sent to the queen by James upon Alexander's return home.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 17
Right deare brother, Your gladsome acceptance of my offred
amitie, togither with the desiar you seem to have ingraven in your
mynde to make merites correspondant, makes me in fill opinion that
some ennemis to our good wyl shal loose muche travel, with making
frustrat thar baiting stratagemes, whiche I knowe to be many and by
sondry meanes to be explored. I cannot halt with you so muche
as to denye that I haue seen suche euident shewes of your contra-
rious dealings, that if I mad not my rekening the bettar of the
moneths, I might condemne you as unworthy of suche as I mynd
to shewe myselfe toward you, and therfor I am wel pleased to take
any coulor to defend your honor, and hope that you wyl remember,
that who seaketh two stringes to one bowe, the may shute strong,
but neuer strait ; and if you suppose that princes causes be vailed so
couvertly that no intelligence may bewraye them, deceave not your-
selfe; we old foxes can find shiftes to saue ourselves by others
malice, and come by knowledge of greattest secreat, spetiallye if it
touche our freholde. It becometh, therfor, all our rencq to deale
sincerely, lest, if we use it not, whan we do it, we be hardly beleaved.
I write not this, my deare brother, for dout but for remembrances.
My ambassador writes so muche of your honorable traitment of him
and of Alexandar, that I belive the be convertid Scotes. You
oblige me for them, for wiche I rendar you a milion of most intire
thankes, as she that meaneth to desarue many a good thoght in your
brest throwe good desart. And for that your request is so honor-
able, retaining so muche reason, I wer out of [my] sences if I shuld
not suspend of any hiresay til the answer of your owne action, wiche
the actor ought best to knowe, and so assure yourselfe I meane and
vowe to do ; with this request, that you wyl affourd me the reci-
proque. And thus, with my many petitions to the Almighty for
your long life and preservation, I ende thes skribled lines.
Your verey assured lovinge sistar and cousin,
A mon bon frere
le roy d'Escose.
camd. soc. D
18 LETTERS OF
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
3rd august, 1585. copy in Thompson ms. p. 7.
James assures the queen of his innocency in a late mischief, and wishes
to know what is her mind and desire for its reparation — he hopes
she has kept one ear open for him in spite of malicious tongues.
In the midst of the complicated deception in which the diplomatic relations of the
courts of England and Scotland were involved, as partly explained in the introduction to
the letter No. VI., an unfortunate event occurred which added still farther to the com-
plexity. On the 28th July, 1585, Francis lord Russell, third but eldest surviving son of
Francis second earl of Bedford, was mortally wounded in a quarrel between the English
and Scotch, which arose suddenly on the borders, during a truce-day agreed upon be-
tween sir John Forster (lord Russell's father-in-law) and sir Thomas Ker of Fernihurst,
the English and Scottish wardens of the marches.
The quarrel was probably unpremeditated, but Ker was an intimate friend of the earl
of Arran, and advantage was taken of that circumstance, by the English government, to
pick a quarrel with the favourite of the Scottish king. It was alleged that lord Russell's
death was a premeditated result, plotted between Arran and Ker. Sir Edward Wotton
distinctly charged Arran with the guilt of a foul murder, and demanded satisfaction, on
his mistress's behalf, for treachery practised against one of her most distinguished sub-
jects. James was mortified beyond measure at this unlooked-for interruption of his
pleasant intercourse with Wotton, as well as at the delay which it interposed in the con-
clusion of a treaty which was to be accompanied by a payment of ready money. He
wept like a child; declared he wished all the lords of the border dead provided lord
Russell were alive again ; committed Arran to custody to await inquiry, and wrote off
to Elizabeth the following hasty protestation of his own innocence. The letter is
dated " 3 day of Julie," which is an obvious mistake. Nothing occurred at the beginning
of July to which it can possibly allude. After referring to the diplomatic correspondence
of the time, I think the date should have been either the 31st July or the 3rd August;
probably the latter.
Madame and mother, since haist auger and extraordinar sorrou
will not permitt any long lettir, this present shall only serue to
assure you of my honest innocence in this lait mischief, and of my
constancie in that course mentionatt in my last letter unto you, not
doubting bot youre ambassadoure hath written to you at large, both
of the one and the other. I have also directid expreslie the bearer
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 19
heirof unto you, to know your mynd and desyre for the repairing of
this forsaid mischief, quhom praying you firmlie to credit, and to
steame * still of my treuth, I committ you, madame and mother, to
Goddis holy protection. From Saint Andreuse, the 3 day of Julie,
Your most louing and devotid brother and sonne,
I doubt not, madame, but ye have kept one eare for me, notwith-
standing of many malicios tongues that nou do boldlie spicke.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
AUGUST 1585. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 22. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen's astonishment that any Scot should have dared to violate his
hands in any of the noble blood of England — her satisfaction that
James has not spared his well-favoured Arran, to cause him to an-
swer such a suspicion — wishes Ker of Fernihurst, the Scottish warden
of the marches, to be delivered up to her.
Right deare brother, I find to true the Frenche adage, Qu'un
mal ne vint jamais seul ; for as the horrible and soudain murdar of
my most faithful subiect and most vaillant baron was unto me a
heartsore and grivous tidinges, so was it tenfold redoubled with
knowelege that a Skot shuld dare violate his handes on any of our
noble bloude, in a peacable concord, whan our frendship shuld haue
sent out his hotest beames to the kindeling of the entier affection of
bothe realmes ; that any of that nation shuld ons dare haue had a
thoght to maculate suche a contract of amitie. I perceive, by my
ambassador, that your grief is litel les than suche a hap deserveth,
and do perceaue that you haue not spared your wel-fauored, to cause
him answer suche a suspicion. I thinke myselfe, therfor, greatly
* So in MS. for esteem.
20 LETTERS OF
obliged unto your care for my satisfaction, and therin I thanke you
for being so considerast of your owne honor, wiche, I assure you,
lieth a-bleding in the bowels of many an Inglas man, until fill rayson
be made for suche a treacherye. God send us bettar luck after our
league be finished than this bloudy beginninge may geue calendes of,
elz many a red side wil folowe suche demerites. But I hope you
wyl spare no man that may be douted of suche a meaning. I
meane, not only of the murdar but of the breaking out upon our bor-
derars, wiche commonly ar the beginnings of our quarelz. I dout
nothinge of your curious care in this behalfe, and for that the warden
of that marche hathe bine the open and commen fosterar and com-
pagnion of the traitor Westmarland and his complices in France
and Scotland, I hope you wil agrie to send him to my handes, wher
he shal neuer receaue iniurie nor ivel measure. And thus, desiring
[you] to credit my ambassador in certain particularites that he shal
impart unto you as to myselfe, I recommend you to Gods safe tui-
tion, who graunt you many gladsome yeres,
Your most affectionat sistar and cousin,
A mon bon frere et cousin,
le roy d'Escose.
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
13th august, 1585. copy in Thompson ms. p. 9.
The king protests his devotion to Elizabeth — promises to sift out the
trial of the circumstances respecting the death of lord Russell
— he has assented to the terms of the proposed league.
Madame and dearest sister, the recept of your thre fauorable lettres,
quhairof two be of youre ouen hand, hath moued me to give you, by
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 21
this present, the most harty thankis thairfor of him quho is most
deuoted to you of any prince in cristendom ; but specially I thinke
myself more beholden unto you then I can euer aquyte, for the pro-
meis and uou ye make in one of your letteris, not to trust any euill
of me quhill ye heir my ouin declaration of may part. Madame,
since ye have so honorably delt with me in this case, I think it my
pairt, as it was allways, to sifte out the tryall of this last mishapp,
with all posible speed, and, on the other pairt, I will earnestly re-
quire you to suspend your judgement quhill ye heir from me quhat
success my trauillis haue takin, quhairof ye shall be, with Goddis
grace, aduertishit in very few dayes ; so shall my honest pairt be
clearit, the guiltie knouin and ponishit, ye resoluit quhat to craue
for your satisfaction and reparations of the fact, and the conclusion
of the amitie and league go forduart, quhairunto I do allready folly
assent, quhairof, since youre ambassadoure doth more largely writt,
I will end heir, with promeis of my utter diligence in the forsaid
tryall, and committing [you] to the holy protection of the Allmichtie.
From Striuiling, the 13 day of August, 1585.
Your most louing and deuotid brother and Sonne,
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
19th august, 1585. copy in Thompson ms. p. 10.
The king declares, that although it was proposed that the intended league
between England and Scotland should only bind him to resist invasion
of England on account of religion, his intention was, that it should be
generally offensive and defensive, and he voluntarily binds himself to
employ his crown and country to resist all invasions of England, upon
Madame and mother, in great haist, ready to ryd. Your ambas-
sadouris present dispatche hath mouitt me to wryt this few wordis,
22 LETTERS OF
to assure you that, althoch my articles that the ambassadoure sendis
you desyris the league to concerne only religion, yit my plaine inten-
tion is, that the league shall be offensive and defensive for all inua-
sions upon quhatsumeuer pretexte. And theirfore I will pray you
to keepe this present, in tokin and testimonil of my plaine assent
thairunto, and that I will imploy my croune and cuntrie to resist to
quhatsumeuer inuasionis uppon youris. Thus, praying [you] to appar-
done this scribling in haist, and to continue still my loving mother as I
shall be your deuoted sonne, I committ you, madame and mother,
to Goddis holy protection. The xix. day of August, from Striuiling,
Your most louing and deuoted brother and sonn,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN NOVEMBER 1585. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 20. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
Offers of help on the recovery of power by the banished lords —Eliza-
beth's ignorance of their intended return to Scotland — every mother's
son of them shall smart if they do any personal violence to James.
Angus, Mar, Glammis, and the other banished lords of Scotland remained in England,
centres of intrigue and conspiracy, until the end of October, 1585. By that time Arran's
misconduct and the cabals of his enemies had filled the cup of his unpopularity. The
lords secretly gathered together their friends; crossed the border; made their appearance
at Kelso; marshalled their host at Falkirk to the number of 8,000 men; and finally
occupied Stirling, were admitted to the presence of the king, proclaimed Arran and his
friends traitors, and took upon themselves the functions of government. This proceeding
was no doubt privately connived at by Elizabeth's government, and probably by Elizabeth
herself. At any event she had undertaken for the peaceable conduct of the banished lords
so long as they were in her dominions. The following letter is her own personal vindication,
in anticipation of a charge of having broken that engagement. It is written with great
boldness and appearance of truth, but it may be doubted whether it actually negatives
connivance, and is not in fact more subtle than honest. It is wholly in the queen's hand-
writing, and contains many characteristic passages as well as an especially curious
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 23
Right deare brother, the strangenes of harde accidens that ar
arrived here, of unloked for, or unsuspected, attemps in Skotland,
euen by some suche as lately issued out of our lande, constraineth
me, as wel for the care we have of your person as of the discharge of
our owne honor and consciense, to send you immediatly this gentleman,
one that appartaineth to us in bloud,* bothe to offer you all assistance
of helpe as al good indeuor of counceil, and to make hit plaine that
we delt plainly. Thes lordes makeng great outcryes that I wold not
or coulde helpe them to be restored ; I, by ther great importunitie,
yelded, that if I might be fried of my assurance given unto you for
ther safe kiping, I wold consent unto ther departure, and so, after
your answer, as my thoght most honorable, that the might take ther
way to Germany with your gracious graunt of some livelode, after
a weekes space I gaue them my pasport and so dismissed them, with-
out, I swere unto you, ons the sight of any one of them. Now,
whan I way how suddenly, beyond my expectation, this suddan stur
ariseth, and fering lest some ivel and wicked person might surmise
that this was not without my forsight, I beseche you trust my actions
accordinge the measure of my formar dealings for your safety, and
ansuerable to the rule of reason, and you shal find, that few princes
wyl agrye to constraint of ther equalz, muche les with compulsion of
ther subiects. Juge of me, therfor, as of a kinge that caries no abiect
nature, and thinke this of me, that, rather than your daungier, I
wyl ventur myne ; and albeit I must confesse that it is daungerous
for a prince to irritast to muche, through iuel aduise, the generalitie
of great subiectz, so might you or now haue folowed my aduise, that
wold neuer betray you with unsound counceil ; and now to conclude,
making hast, I pray you be plain with this bearar, that I may knowe
* William Knolles, eldest son of sir Francis Knolles, K.G. who married Katharine,
daughter of William Cary esquire, by Mary Boleyne, Elizabeth's maternal aunt. Before
the actual invasion of Scotland by the banished lords, sir Edward Wotton had found it
necessary to desert his post of ambassador at James's court. James having given orders
to seize Wotton in his house and hold him as an hostage for Arran, Wotton mounted a fleet
horse, and crossed the borders during the night.
24 LETTERS OF
what you wold that I should do, without excuse hireafter, that con-
strained you did hit, for I dare assure you of his secresye, and
therof be you bold. For the lord Russelz dethe, and other thinges,
I referre me to this gentilman, who I dare promis is of no faction
beside my wyl. God blesse you in al safety as I wysche myself.
Your tru assured cousin and sistar,
Feare not, for your life must be thers, or els the shal smart wel,
euery mothers son of them*
A mon trescher frere
le roy d'Escose.
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
20TH DECEMBER, 1585. RYDER MSS. JACOB. NO. 1. COPY OF THE TIME.
James desires to revive certain matters of business which have dropped
asleep through occasions of time — has sent a messenger to inform the
queen of his estate and intentions.
The success of the returned lords was followed by the calling of a parliament, in which
the king united with his people in expressions of friendliness towards England and affection
for protestantism. The parliament urged the immediate settlement of the long meditated
league with Elizabeth, and as soon as it had risen, the king despatched sir William
Keith to the English queen to invite her to come to a conclusion upon the subject. He
was the bearer of the following letter.
You * madame and deirest sister, I have sent this gentilman bearar
heirof, my familiar seruand (according to my promes in my last lettre),
for thre speciall causes: first, to visit yow, in respect it is long ago since
I visited yow with one of myne ; secondlye, that all those matters that
war in dealing before, and thorow occasions of tyme left as it war
asleep this whyll past, may of-new be walkened up and perfyted, as
I did wryt in my last lettre ; thirdlye, I have directed him to informe
* So in the orig.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 25
yow both amply and partieularlye of the estate of all matters heir, for
the which cause, to the end that ye myght the more fullye be
informed, I stayed him until the parliament was past, and matters
put to sum settlidnes, that he might carye the certaintye of those
matters. Whom I have directed, not as in any public message but
priuatlye, to informe yow of my secret intention in all thinges. Their-
fore I pray yow to trust him firmlye, and to giue him a good andspedye
dispetehe. Thus praying yow euer to assure yourself that all my
dedes shall correspond to my promises on your behalf, I commit you,
madame and dairest sister, to God his holye protection. From
Linlythquo the xx. day of December, 1585.
Your trewest and assured brother and cousin,
[Indorsed,'] James R.
Copye off the king his lettre
to quene of England, xx.
* Among Mr. Ryder's papers are the following two copies of letters written by James
to persons at the English court to further sir William Keith's embassy. They are not
addressed, but the first was probably written to secretary Walsingham, and the second to
the earl of Leycester. The latter had at that time just embarked for the low countries,
but his departure had been long delayed and put off from time to time, and James, writing
from Linlithgow on the 20th December, might well be ignorant that the earl actually
sailed from Harwich on the 8th.
[James VI. to secretary Walsingham.]
Richt trustie freind, I haue directed the bearer heirof, my familiar seruand, to the
quene your souuerane, for dyuers caussis, bot especially that the former dealing which hath
bene this tyme past left of may be of-new walkened up and perfyted, wherein I pray you
to assist him by all the good meanes ye can ; as also to procure his good and spedy dis-
patche. I must also earnestly desyre you to give him your best advyse how he shall behaue
himself in all his proceedinges, and to trust him firmely. Thus referring the whole par-
ticularis of his message and direction to his owne discours, I committ you, richt trustie
freind, to Goddis holy protection. From my palais of Lynlyfqw, the xx. day of
Your most loving freind,
CAMD. SOC. E
26 LETTERS OF
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN ABOUT JANUARY 1585-6. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 21. ORIGINAL AUTOGRAPH.
Tlie queen is pleased at James's good liking of the returned lords and
their action — she is about to send an ambassador to conclude the
league with him — there must be reparation for lord RusseWs death —
since God made kings, the clergy ought not to be allowed to unmake
their authority — professions of entire confidence in James's sincerity.
This letter was written in reply to the one immediately preceding. All difficulty in the
way of the conclusion of a league being removed by the change in the Scottish govern-
ment, Elizabeth determined to send the veteran diplomatist Randolph to Scotland to bring
about a final settlement. He is the " gentleman," and sir William Keith the " acceptable
messenger " here alluded to. It is evident from the latter part of this letter that James
had already acquired the character of being a profound dissembler.
Right deare brother, I am not a litel satisfaict of many a care-
full thoght that my mynde tossed up and downe, with doutes what
care might do to a kings brest, invirunned of a seubdain with so
vnlooked for an accident; my thankes, therfor, may sca[r]se be
contained in this paper for your most acceptable messanger, whom
it pleased you to commaund [for] my satisfaction of your good estat,
togither with your good liking of the lordes and ther action, whom I
[James VI. to the earl of Leycester.]
My lord and richt trusty cousing, Being latly aduertishit of your nondeparture as yet
(quhairof I am most glaid), I haue thocht good to wryte this present unto you with the
bearer heirof, my familiar seruant, to desyre yow to further his good and spedie dispatche
by all good meanes, quhome I pray yow earnistly to direct and aduyse in all his pro-
ceedingis, since I haue geuin charge to behaue himself fully according to your direction
and aduyse. As to the causes of his message and particuleris thairof, I remitt thame to
his particular declaratioun, who will informe you amply therein. Thus praying you to
giue him firme trust, I commit you, my lord and right trustie cousing, to Goddis holy
protectioun. From my palais of Linlifqw, the xx. day of December, 1585.
Your most louing and assured freind,
As ye wold do me any pleasure, remember uponn the sending of the bukkis with speid.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 27
beseche God no longar preserae in life, than the be ready for your
preservation to spend all thers ; so far wer euer my intentz from
any trechery towarde you. And wheras your desiar seameth great
that the league in hand myght come to ende, I am addressing a
gentilman vnto you for the same purpose, and wyl delay no time for
so good a intent, trusting than, that no whispering treason shal haue
credit in your eare to retarde or cut of so nideful an action. Suppose
suche, I pray you, to resemble a golden houke that oft deceaues the
vnwary fische, and makes him receaue his worst in lieu of bettar hope.
Amidz al thes kind dealings of yours, let me not forget how litel
care the worlde shal thinke you prise me at, if in middest of
greatest frindship, my los of honor be no whit repaired for the shamful
murther of the baron Russell. Pondar it depely, I beseche you, for
hit striketh nere me, so publik an iniurye to haue no redres, without
we shewe the thoght, wiche God alone reserues his part. The like
answer was neuer yet giuen, and [I] hope for bettar paiment.
For your churche matters, I do bothe admire and reioise to see
your wise paraphrase, wiche far excedeth ther texte. Since God
hathe made kinges, let them not unmake ther authorite, and let
brokes and smal rivers acknowledge ther springes, and flowe no
furdar than ther bankes. I praise God that you uphold euer a
For all other matters wiche this gentilman hathe told me, I wil
hope stil that your faithful profession of constantie in my behalfe
shal far surmount the devellishe practises and suttel iniquitie of those
wiche, undar pretence of your aduancement, wil skanten your best
fortiune. And albeit I am aduertised, even from amonge themselves,
that your assurance to them doth shewe, that al my faire offers from
you be ad E<j>esios and ridiculus, meaning wholy to folow them and
temporise with me, yet I mynd to peccare in meliorem if I must nides
be begiled, and mynd not to trust them til I see you faile me, and
than deceptis* ad decipientem digne vertitur. Til than, I wyl trust your
worde, and dare assure you shal neuer, on my behalfe, haue cause to
* This is the reading of the MS.
28 LETTERS OF
repent your woues, meaning you no les good than I pray God euer
to afourde me, prayinge him longe to conserve you. And to ende
this lettar, let me not forget to recommend this gentlemans good be-
havor in this his charge, hauing used it to your honor and his great
praise. Thus I finische to troble you, but do rest,
Your most assuredzt louing sistar and cousin,
To my deerest brother and
cousin the king of Scotts.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
FEBRUARY 1585-6. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 3. ORIG, AUTOGRAPH.
The queen has sent as ambassador to James a gentleman who laboured
for the hinges 'preservation in his childish years even to the peril of his
own life — she praises highly his long experience, his wit, discretion,
The present letter was sent, as I take to be clear from its contents, by Randolph, who
was commissioned to conclude the league. He arrived in Edinburgh on the 26th
Right deare brother, Determining with myselfe to sende you some
one of whose affection I had profe towarde your estat and parson,
have resolved of this gentilman, who in your childesche yeres sought
all menes of your preservation, and was the instrument to have you
served by them that folowed no other rular than your raigne, and
for that cause suffred hard assaultes, yea to the present peril of life,
wiche was soght sondry wayes, and ons by bullet of pistol, as he had
to shew. Suppose you that suche a one, so used, wold be hasty to
go on this viage, wer it not my spetiall charge, wiche only I do
for the longe experience that he hathe had of that country, and so
the bettar able to serve us bothe, for I dare swere he hathe no other
scope than to kipe us frendes, and increase that bond. And if he
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 29
find any opposite against so good a worke, he wyl obviat it if he may,
and wyl serve you in any thing that may advance your honor and
quiat, according to his commission ; praying you to have regard unto
him and his honorable traictment, that I may haue no cause to
reuenge his wronge ; not douting but if you knew his nature and
honesty, as I do, you wold not estime him menely. I assure you
he is of muche valeur bothe for wit and discretion ; in whom ther
was never found trechery. Thus I end, with my prayers to God
for your long continuance.
Your assured sistar and cousin,
[Addressed,"] Elizabeth R.
A mon bon frere
le roy d'Escose.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN IN MARCH 1585-6. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 30. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
Caution against foreign intriguers — Elizabeth's care over James abincu-
nabulis — thinks scorn to be asked to sign an " instrument " for James's
security — expects some persons to be delivered up to her on account of
the death of lord Russell.
Randolph was received by James with the most treacherous courtesy; but the official
servants of the Scottish sovereign — not less accomplished dissemblers than their master
when it was their cue to play false — gave Randolph alarming information as to golden offers
with which the court of France was then tempting the needy Scottish monarch. Upon his
report of these circumstances to Elizabeth, she addressed James in the following letter of
indirect advice and warning. Her heavy wit in reference to an «' instrument " or guarantee
for the payment of his annual pension or pecuniary allowance, which James desired her to
sign, is amusing and characteristic.
The expertist seamen, my deare brother, makes vant of ther best
shippes whan the pas the highest bellowes without yelding, and
broke nimlest the roughest stormes. The like profe, I suppose, may
best be made, and surest boste, of frindes, whan greatest persuasions
and mightiest ennemis oppose themselues for parties. If than a con-
30 LETTERS OF
stant irremouable good wyll appere, thar is best triall made. And
for that I knowe ther is no worse orator for truthe than malice, nor
shwredar invahar than envye, and that I am sure you haue wanted
nether, to assaile your mynde to win it from our frindeship ; if not
auailing all thes minars, you kipe the hold of your promised inward
affection, as Randol at lengthe haue told me and your owne lettars
assure me, I dare thus boldly affirme, that you shall haue the bettar
part in this bargain. For when you way in equal balance, with no
palsey hande, the very ground of ther desires that wold withdrawe
you, it is but roote of mischif to peril your selfe, with hope to harme
her who euer hathe preserued you ; and sins you may be sure that
Skotland, nor yourself, be so potent, as for your greatnes the seake
you, nor neuer did, but to iniure a thirde ; and if you rede the his-
tories, ther is no great cause of bost for many conquests, thogh your
contry sarued ther malice. This you see the beginning why euer
Skotland hathe bine sought. Now, to come to my ground worke,
only natural affection ab incunabulis sturrid me to saue you from the
murderars of your father, and the peril that ther complices might
brede you. Thus, as in no counterfait miroir, you may behold with-
out maske the faces of bothe beginnars. It is for you to juge what ar
like to be the best euent of bothe, and therafter I pray God" you may
use your best choise to your surest good, no semblant false to begile.
And as I reioyse to haue had, iven in this hammering worlde, suche
presant profe of your sincerite, so shal you be sure to imploye it
upon no gileful person, nor suche as wil not take as muche regard of
your good as of her owne.
Tochinge an " instrument," as your secretarye terme it, that you
desiar to haue me signe, I assure you, thogh I can play of some, and
haue bine broght up to know musike, yet this disscord wold be so
grose as wer not fit for so wel-tuned musicke. Must so great dout
be made of fre good wy], and gift be so mistrusted, that our signe
Emanuel * must assure ? No, my deere brother. Teache your new rawe
* So in the original.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 31
counselars bettar manner than to aduis you such a paringe of ample
meninge. Who shuld doute performance of kinges offer? What
dishonor may that he demed? Folowe next your owne nature, for
this neuer came out of your shoppe. But, for your ful satisfaction,
and to plucke from the wicked the weapon the wold use to hrede
your doubt of meanings, thes the be. First, I wil, as longe as you
with iuel desart alter not your course, take care for your safety,
helpe your nide, and shun al actes that may damnifie you in any
sort, ether in present or future time ; and for the portion of relife, I
minde neuer to lessen, thogh, as I see cause, I wil rather augment.
And this I hope may stand you in as muche assuranse as my name
in parchement, and no les for bothe our honors.
I can not omit, also, to request you, of all amitie betwine us, to
haue good regard of the longe-waiting expectation that all our sub-
jectes lokes after, that some persons be deliuered in to my handes for
some repaire of my honor thogh no redres for his dethe,* according
as my ambassador Randol shal signifie, and that ther be no more
delais, wiche haue bine ouer many already. And thus I end my
trobling you. Comittinge you to the tuition of the living God, who
graunt you many yeres of prosperous raigne.
Your most assured louinge sistar and cousin,
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
WRITTEN ABOUT 1ST APRIL, 1586. RYDER MSS. JACOB. NO. 4. ORIG. DRAFT IN JAMES'S
Apologises for not writing pending the arrangement of the treaty — it is
now signed — explanations as to the " instrument."
The following letter is a reply to the last. In spite of all opposition Randolph suc-
ceeded in procuring the king's signature to the terms of the treaty; but James could not
* This alludes to the desired delivery to Elizabeth of Ker of Fernihurst, who was ac-
cused of having plotted the death of lord Russell.
32 LETTERS OF
be laughed out of his "instrument," one point in which, although the fact does not appear
in this correspondence, was, that it was to bind Elizabeth not to permit any measures to be
brought forward against James's title to the English crown. (Tytler's Hist, of Scotland,
I doubt not, madame and dearest sister, but ye haue thir tymes
past accused and condemned me in your ouen mynde of foryetfullness
or great sleuth, in hauing bene so long unuisiting you with any letre,
and yett I must most hartly craue your pardon in respect I did it
upon goode intention, for, upon consideration of youre ambassadouris
negotiating with me upon the accomplishing of the league, I thocht
it much bettir, thoch I shulde have stayed the longer, to writt to
you the performance then excuse the delay thairof, and, thairfore, I
woulde not finish my letter quhill the same had also bene finished in
lyke mainer : as indeed I haue nou at last (thoch not without cross-
ing) subscryved and deliverit the same to your ambassadoure, quhom,
according to youre recomendation, I haue louingly usid, as I will
quhomsoeuer ye can send, for the sendaris saike. And as for the
instrument, quhairunto I desyre youre seale to be affixit, think not, I
pray you, that I desire it for any mistrust, for I protest before God that
youre simple promeis uolde be more then sufficient to me, if it uaire
not that I uoulde haue the quhole worlde to understand hou it
pleacith you to honoure me aboue my demeritis, quhich fauoure and
innumerable otheris, if my euill happ will not permitt [me] by action to
acquyte, yett shall I contend by goode meaning to conteruayle the
same at her handis, quhome, committing to the Almichties protection,
I pray euer to esteeme me,
Hir most beholden and louinge freind and cousin,
Madame, I must earnistly requeist you by youre fauorable and
speadie dispetche of the treu seruande and faithfull subiect to you and
to me James Hudsone, to lett him knau that my mediation hes
auailid at youre handis.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 33
ELIZABETH TO JAMES VI.
WRITTEN ABOUT THE END OP MAY, 1586. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 31. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
Reply to James's objections to her last letter — she never promised more
money — has sent a letter in the terms of the desired " instrument"
Elizabeth's reply to No. XX. was extremely unsatisfactory to James. It not only con-
tained some very unpalatable admonition but still persisted in the rejection of the " instru-
ment," and, above all things, made manifest a diminution in his promised pension from
,£5,000 per annum to ,£4,000. This letter was presented by Randolph, remarks Mr.
Tytler, " in an interview which he had with James in the garden of the palace; and, as he
read it, the young monarch, colouring with anger, swore ' by God ' that had he known
what little account the queen would make of him, she should have waited long enough be-
fore he had signed any league, or disobliged his nobles, to reap nothing but disappointment
and contempt." (Hist, of Scotland, viii. 282.) James vented his dissatisfaction in a letter
to which the following is Elizabeth's reply. It is tame for her, and, in reference to the
alleged mistake in the amount of the pension, leaves little doubt that sir Edward Wotton
mentioned " twenty thousand crowns," as James asserted.
I muse muche, right deare brother, how possiblie my wel-ment
lettar, prodding from so fauteles a hart, could be ether misliked or
misconstred ; and first, for my promis made of reciproke usage in all
amicable maner, I trust I nether haue, nor neuer shall, make fraction
of in the lest scruple; and as for doute of your perfourmance of
your vowe made me, I assure you, if I did not trust your wordes, I
shuld estime but at smale valew your writings, and if you please to
reade againe my last lettar, you shall perceaue how muche I prise
your tried constancy for all the many assaultes that, I am sure, your
eares haue bin assailled with, and therfor I am far from dout, whan
suche profe is made, and you might worthely forthinke you to haue
bestowed so muche faithful dealinge upon one that ether had smal
iugement or muche ingratitude, and therof I may clerely purge me
from suche crime, for I haue more iust cause to acknowelege thanke-
fulnis manifold, than, in any part, to ouerrun my owne wit to leue it
And for the some that you suppose my many affaires made me for-
get, togither with the maner of the instrument, or lettar, quocunque
CAMD. SOC. F
34 LETTERS OF
nomine datur. For the first, I assure you I never gaue commission
for more. Some other might mistake, as Randol wil tel you. And
for the lettar, some wordes and fourme was suche as fitted not our
two frindeships, as Randol also can shewe you, but I haue sent you
a lettar that I am sure containes all you desired in spetiall wordes.
I trust it shal content you ; although I must say for myselfe this
muche, that the pithe and effect of all you receiued afore ; and be-
seche you thinke, that I finde it my greatest fault that I remember
but to well, yea, many times more than I wolde, but never aught
that may be for your behoffe, ether in honor or contentation, shal euer
slip out of my mind, but wil take so good regarde unto it as that it
euer shal nerely touche myselfe ; as knoweth God, who euer preserue
you from deceitful counseil, and graunt you true knowlege of your
assured, with longe and many yeres to raigne.
Your most affectionate and assured louing sistar and cousin,
A mon bon frere et
cousin le roy d'Escosse.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
8TH APRIL, 1586. RYDER MSS. ELI2. NO. 36. ORIG.
Elizabeth intercedes on behalf of Archibald Douglas, accused of a parti-
cipation in the murder of James's father, Henry Darnley.
The following extract from Mr. Tytler's History of Scotland furnishes an admirable
although rather over-drawn comment upon the present letter. " The happy conclusion of
the league was a matter of sincere congratulation to the English queen ; but she had in-
trusted to Randolph another somewhat difficult negotiation. This was to induce James to
recall and pardon the noted Archibald Douglas, whom she had herself recently imprisoned,
but who had purchased his freedom by betraying the secrets of the Scottish queen. This
gentleman united the manners of a polished courtier to the knowledge of a scholar and a
statesman. He was of an ancient and noble house; he had been for years the friend and
correspondent of Burghley and Walsingham; and he was now in great credit with the
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 35
English queen. But Douglas had a dark as well as a bright side; and exhibited a con-
tradiction or anomaly in character by no means unfrequent in those days; the ferocity of a
feudal age gilded or lacquered over by a thin coating of civilization. Externally all was
polish and amenity; truly and at heart the man was a sanguinary, fierce, crafty and un-
scrupulous villain. He had been personally present at Darnley's murder, although he
only admitted the foreknowledge of it; he had been bred as a retainer of the infamous
Both well ; he had afterwards been employed by the Scottish queen, whom he sold to her
enemies; and Elizabeth's great purpose in now interceding for his return from her court
to his own country was, to use his influence with the young king against his mother and
her faction. ... A mock trial was got up; a sentence of acquittal pronounced; and
Douglas was not only restored to his estates and rank but admitted into the highest confi-
dence with the sovereign, whose father he had murdered.' ' (Ty tier's Hist. Scotland,
This letter is not placed in strictly chronological order, it having been thought better to
put all those letters relating to the league in regular succession.
Right high right excellent and mighty prince, our deerest brother
and cousin, in our hartiest maner we recommende us unto you.
Understanding that this bearer, Mr. Archibald Duglas, by the
travell and mediation of his good freendes, hath obteyned fauour at
your handes, that it pleaseth you noue both to conceave a good
opinion of him, and to license hym to retourne home to your pre-
sence, we could not but accompany him with this our letter, to
witnes unto you in his behalf, that, during the tyme of his abode
here, he hath still caryed himself in such loyall and duetifull sort
towarde you, as you haue just cause to think the restoring of him to
your good opinion and fauour well bestowed; wherof we ar the
rather moved to geve you knowledg, for that we understand that
sum have don ill offices to work in you a hard conceit of the gen-
tleman, whom for our part we woold by no meanes admitt to cum
to our presence (although by our servant Randolph we were informed
that he offered to abyde his triall according to the lawes of Scotland
for any matter that could be layed to his chardge), vntil such tyme
as, by his solemne othe, he had, in the presence of our priuie counsel,
purged himself of any criminall matter that might be proved against
him touching the detestable murder of your late father. And yet,
notwithstanding this kind of purgation, we did withall, at the tyme
36 LETTERS OF
of his furst access unto us, let him plainly understand, that, if at any
tyme therafter it shuld appere unto us that he could be any further
touched in that matter, then with the only conjectured or reported
knowledge of others that such an horrible fact was intended to be
committed, we woold not only make present deliuery of him, but also
craue earnestly that exemplary punishment might be extended upon
him, as gilty of the murther of our so nere cousin and kinsman.
But now, since yourself, as we are informed, do rest so far furth
satisfied with his actiones and behavoure past, as that you can be
content to revoke such decrees as haue ben made against him in the
tyme of his absence, by graunting vnto him the benifit of the act of
pacification, and to allowe him the triall of the lawes of Scotland for
any actuall dealing in that horrible murder, with a free remittall of
any his foreknowledg or concealing of the same, we ar glad of such
your manner of proceeding towards him (wherin there appereth both
clemencye and equitye), and so much the more bycause it is agree-
able to a request which otherwise we ment ourself to have made vnto
you in his behalf, if we had ben persuaded that the same woold not
haue ben offensive vnto you, whom we cannot therfor but thank
greatly for this your honnorable and indifferent course of proceeding
with the gentleman, praying you, withall, that this triall may be had
with all convenient expedition, which we do the rather desyre for
that we ar almoost fully persuaded of his innocencie in the said mur-
der, and moved [also] * with compassion, that the slaunder therof
should so long hang upon him, in whom we have ever observed a
loyall and constant disposition to do you acceptable and duetifull ser-
uice : as, on the other syde, if by the said triall he should happen to
be found gilty, we woold not only forbeare to make any intreatie or
mediation for him, but also urge rather the inflicting of condigne
punishement vpon him for the same, to the terrour and example of
all others. And yet our request is, that if he be not found gilty of
any criminal or actual medling in that detestable murder, it woold
* The paper torn.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 37
please you to fauour him with the ratifiing by parlement of the be-
nifit that yourself have alredy graunted vnto him, of the general
pacification for the taking awaye of all other offences committed in
the tyme of your minoritie, wherin his case is common with many
other your subiects that have obteyned a remittall of the same. And
so, right high right excellent and mighty prince, our deerest brother
and cousin, we pray God to haue you alwayes in his blessed keeping.
Geuen at our castel of Grenewich the eight daye of Aprill, 1586, in
the xxviij th yere of our reign.
Your very assurid sistar and cousin,
To the right high right excellent and
mighty prince, our deerest brother and
cousin, the king of Scotland.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
4TH OCTOBER, 1586. RYDER MSS. ELTZ. NO. 4. ORIG. IN THE QUEEN'S AUTOGRAPH.
The queen returns thanks for " amicable offers" and for the joy ex-
pressed by the king at her escape from the jaws of death — Babingtorfs
conspiracy originated with the Jesuits, whom James is therefore urged
not to suffer to remain in Scotland — Elizabeth's sorrow for those who
were guilty, and her surprise that one accounted wise should have
part in such a design.
The league between England and Scotland was scarcely concluded when both countries
were startled by the discovery of the well-known Babington conspiracy. Its objects were,
the assassination of Elizabeth, the release of Mary, and her establishment on the vacant
throne of that country in which she had now passed so many years of exile and imprison-
ment. The conspiracy came to light about the 3rd August, 1586, and the chief conspira-
tors were executed on the 20th and 21st of the following September. Within a few days
afterwards it was determined to bring queen Mary to what was termed a trial for having
had a guilty knowledge of this formidable plot. Without being acquainted with this
last determination, James had written to Elizabeth, and had also sent a special ambassador
38 LETTERS OF
to her, to congratulate her on her escape. The following was her reply. The " one ac-
counted wise " was, no doubt, queen Mary; and probably there is an allusion to her in the
previous passage, in which there is mention of "some that are guilty of this murther."
This letter is wholly in the queen's handwriting.
I hope, my deare brother, that my many waighty affayres in pre-
sent may make my lawful excuse for the retardance of the answer to
your ambassadeurs charge, but I doute not but you shal be honor-
ably satisfaict in all the pointz of his commission, and next, after my
owne errand done, I must rendar you my innumerable thankes for
suche amicable offers as hit hathe pleased you make, making you as-
sured that, with Gods grace, you shal neuer have cause to regrat
your good thoghtz of my meaninge to deserue as muche good wil
and affection as euer one prince owed another, wisching all meanes
that may maintaine your faithful trust in me, that neuer wyl seake
aught but the increase of your honor and safty. I was in mynd to
haue sent you suche accidentz as this late monethe brought furthe,*
but the sufficientie of mastar Archebal f made me retaine him, and
do rendar you many loving thankes for the joy you take of my narow
escape from the chawes of dethe, to wiche I might easely haue fallen
but that the hand of the hiest saued me from that snare.
And for that the curse of that desaing rose up from the wicked
sucgestion of the Jesuites, wiche make hit an axceptable sacrifice to
God, and meritorieus to themselfe, that a kinge not of ther profession
shuld be murthered, therfor I could kipe my pen no longar from dis-
charging my care of your person, that you suffer not suche vipars to
inhabite your lande. The say you gaue leue undar your hand that
the might safely come and go. For Gods loue regard your surety
aboue all perswations, and account him no subiect that intertaines
them. Make not edictz for skorne, but to be obserued. Let them
be rebelles, and so pronunsed, that preserue them.
For my part, I am sorier that the cast away so many goodly gen-
tilmen than that the soght my ruine. I thanke God I haue taken
* The discovery of Babington's conspiracy.
f Archibald Douglas was at this time the Scottish ambassador at Elizabeth's court.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 39
more dolor for some that ar gilty of this murther than beare them
malice that the soght my dethe. I protest hit before God. But
suche iniquitie will not be hide, be hit neuer so craftely handeled ;
and yet, whan you shal here all, you wyl wondar that one accownted
wise * wyl use suche matter so fondly. But no marvel, for whan
the ar giuen to a reprobat sence the offen make suche slip.
I haue bine so tedious that I take pitie of your paine, and so wyl
ende this skribling, praying you beliue that you could neuer haue
chosen a more sure trust that wil neuer begile than myself, who
dayly prayes to God for your longe prosperitie.
Your most assured louing sistar and cousin,
A mounsieur mon bon frere et
cousin le roy d'Escose.
[Contemporary memorandum indorsed]
Of the 4 of October, 1586.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
15TH OCTOBER, 1586. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 5. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
Thanks for offers of service — desires the Kers may be sent to her —
thanks God that James is alive to the dangerous practices of the
Jesuits — what was confessed by all the conspirators without torture —
Douglas tarries until matters of great importance are concluded upon.
If the date indorsed in a contemporary hand upon this letter is to be relied upon, and
there can be no reasonable doubt that it is either the date of the letter or of its
receipt, it was written just at the time of the proceedings against queen Mary at
Fotheringay. Those proceedings took place on the 14th and loth of October, and the
court was then adjourned to the 25th of the same month at Westminster. The result of
* i. e. Mary queen of Scots.
40 LETTERS OF
proceedings, which ought to have been so deeply interesting to king James, both as a son
and as a sovereign, was no doubt the " matter of weight " for the communication of which
Archibald Douglas was detained in London. This letter is altogether in the queen's own
My deare brother, Hit hathe sufficiently infourmed me of your
singular care of my estat and brething * that you haue sent one, in
suche diligence, to understand the circumstancis of the treasons wiche
lately wer lewdly attempted and miraculously vttred. Of whiche I
had made participant your embassador afor your lettars came. And
now am I to shewe you, that, as I haue receaved many writings
from you of great kindnis, yet this last was fraughted with so careful
passion, and so effectuall utterance of all best wisches for my safety, and
offer of as muche as I could haue desired, that I confes, if I shuld not
seake to decerue it, and by merites tye you to continuance, I wer
ivell-wordy suche a frind ; and, as the thankes my hart yeldes my
pen may skant rendar you, so shal the ownar euer decerue to shewe hit
not ivel imploied, but on suche a prince as shall requite your good
wyl, and kipe a wacheful yee to all doings that may conserne you.
And whereas you offer to send me any traitor of myne residing in
your land, I shal not faille but expect th'accomplischement of the
same in case any suche shal be, and require you, in the menetime,
that spidy deliuerye may be maid of the Cars,f wiche toucheth bothe
my conscience and honor.
I thanke God that you beware so sone of Jesuites, that haue bine
the source of al thes trecheries in this realme, and wyl sprede, like
an iuel, wide, if at the first the be not wided out. I wold I had had
Prometheus for companion, for Epimetheus had like have bine myne
to sone. What religion is this, that the say the way to saluation is
to kil the prince for a merit meritorious ? This is that the haue all
confessed without tortur or menace. J I swere hit, on my worde.
* So in the orig.
+ The Kers of Fernihurst, implicated in the death of lord Russell.
J This must not be understood'to mean that they were none of them subjected to torture
or menace, but that the confession in question was not made under torture or menace.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI, 41
Far be hit from Skotland to harbor any suche, and therfor I wische
your good providence may be duly executed, for elz lawes resemble
cobwebbes, whens great bees get out by breaking, and small flies stiks
fast for wekenis.
As concerning the retarding of your answers to al pointz of your
ambassadors charge, you had receved them or now but that matters
of that weight that I am sure you wold willingly knowe can not as
yet receaue a * conclusion, and til that mastar Douglas doth tarye ;
and with his retourne I hope you shal receaue honorable requital of
his amicable embassade, so as you shal have no cause to regret his
arrival; as knoweth the Lord, whom ever I beseche to sendf you
many joiful dayes of raigne and life.
Your most assured louing and faithful sistar and cousin,
I must giue you many thankes for this poore subject of myne, for
whom I wil not stik to do al pleasure for your request, and wold
wische him undar the grond if he shuld not serue you with greatest
faithe that any seruant may. I haue wylled him tel you some thinges
from me ; I beseche you heare them fauorablie.
A mon bon frere e cousin le roy d'Escose.
Of the 15 of October, 1586.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
JANUARY, 1586-7. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 6. ORTG. AUTOGRAPH.
Since the arrival of the Scottish commissioners there has been discovered
a fresh conspiracy against the queers life — the danger to Elizabeth
from keeping the serpent that poisons her — she appeals to James to
weigh her life and reject the care of murder.
The Scottish sovereign saw his mother put upon what is called her trial, unde-
* An in the orig. f Sene in the orig.
CAMD. SOC. • G-
42 LETTERS OF
fended, before a tribunal composed entirely of her enemies, without any very strenuous
interference on her behalf. But his people had more feeling than himself. They were
full of indignation that one who, with all her faults, was still remembered as their once
beautiful queen, should be treated with such manifest injustice. They burned to vindi-
cate in her behalf the honour of the nation and the claims of natural justice. The king
could not stir abroad without being besieged by popular appeals for vengeance. Even in
the innermost chambers of his palace his ears were assailed with the direst imprecations
against the queen of England. Thus urged, he was obliged to act with more de-
cision. He sent sir William Keith into England in November 1 586, and the master
of Gray and sir Robert Melvil in January 1586-7, all of them upon missions of inter-
cession for the unhappy Mary. But his efforts were equally wanting in spirit and in
dignity. His representations were hampered by being mixed up with questions respect-
ing his own right of succession to the English throne, which he deemed of more import-
ance than the life of his mother, and were deprived of all weight by the universal belief,
founded upon a knowledge of his general character, that he merely simulated an interest
which he did not feel, and that if the act were once done, " in time " he might be moved to
digest it. Whilst the Scottish ambassadors were in London, a new conspiracy was discovered,
or pretended to be discovered, in which Chateauneuf, the French ambassador, was impli-
cated. The ambassador was summoned to lord Burghley's residence, and there confronted
with the informer, William Stafford, brother of sir Edward Stafford, the queen's ambassador
in France. Each flatly contradicted the other, and the truth or falsehood of the charge re-
mains in doubt between them. The following letter was written by Elizabeth to James
purposely to apprise him of this transaction, which, by its effect upon the minds of the
people, could not but exercise a very important influence upon the fate of his mother.
I finde myselfe so trobled lest sinistar tales might delude you, my
good brother, that I haue willingly found out this messanger, whom
1 knowe most sincere to you and a true subiect to me, to carry unto
you my most sincere meaning toward you, and to request this iust
desiar, that you neuer dout my intiere good wyll in your behalfe ;
and do protest, that, if you knewe, even sins the arrivall of your
commissionars, (wiche if the list the may tell you,) the exstreme dan-
gier my life was in, by an embassadors honest silence, if not inven-
tion, and suche good complices as haue themselues, by Godz permis-
sion, unfolded the hole conspiratie, and haue aduouched hit befor his
face, thoght hit be the peril of ther owne lives, yet voluntaryly, one of
them neuer beinge suspected brake hit with a councelar to make me
acquanted therwith. You may see whither I kipe the serpent that
poisons me, whan the confes to haue reward. By sauing of her life
the wold haue had mine. Do I not make myself, trowe ye, a goodly
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 43
pray for euery wretche to deuour? Transfigure yourself into my
state, and suppose what you aught to do, and therafter way my life,
and reiect the care of murdar, and shun all baites that may untie our
amities, and let all men knowe, that princes knowe best their owne
lawes, and misiuge not that you knowe not. For my part, I wyl
not Hue to wronge the menest. And so I conclude you with your
owne wordes, you wyl prosecute or mislike as muche thos that seake
my ruine as yf the sought your hart bloud, and wold I had none in
myne if I wold not do the like ; as God knoweth, to whom I make
my humble prayers to inspire you with best desiars.
Your most affectionated sistar and cousin,
I am sending you a gentilman fourwith, the other being fallen
sick, who I trust shal yeld you good reason of my actions.
To my verey good brother and cousin, the king of Skotz.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
ABOUT 1ST FEBRUARY, 1586-7. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 7. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen offers various arguments for the necessity of putting Mary
queen of Scots to death.
The Scottish commissioners proposed that Mary should be transferred into the custody of
some neutral prince, her relations at the same time entering into an engagement on her
behalf, that she would thenceforth abstain from all interference in the affairs of England.
The following letter contains Elizabeth's reply. She ridicules the proposal, and vindicates
her intention to sacrifice the life of her prisoner, upon the plea of necessity.
Be not caried away, my deare brother, with the lewd perswations of
suche, as insteade of infowrming you of my to nideful and helpeles
44 LETTERS OF
cause of defending the brethe that God hath given me, to be better
spent than spilt by the bloudy invention of traitors handz, may
perhaps make you belive, that ether the offense was not so great, or
if that cannot serue them, for the over-manifest triall wiche in
publik and by the greatest and most in this land hathe bine mani-
festly proved, yet the wyl make that her life may be saved and myne
safe, wiche wold God wer true, for whan you make vewe of my long
danger indured thes fowre — wel ny fiue — moneths time to make a tast
of, the greatest witz amongs my owne, and than of French, and last
of you, wyl graunt with me, that if nide wer not mor than my
malice she shuld not have her merite.
And now for a good conclusion of my long-taried-for answer.
Your commissionars telz me, that I may trust her in the hande of
some indifferent prince, and have all her cousins and allies promis
she wil no more seake my ruine. Deare brother and cousin, way in
true and equal balance wither the lak not muche good ground whan
suche stuf serves for ther bilding. Suppose you I am so mad to
truste my life in anothers hand and send hit out of my owne ? If
the young master of Gray, for curring faueur with you, might
fortune say hit, yet old master Mylvin hath yeres ynough to teache
him more wisdome than tel a prince of any jugement suche a con-
trarious frivolous maimed reason. Let your councelors, for your
honour, discharge ther duty so muche to you as to declaire the ab-
surditie of such an offer ; and, for my part, I do assure myselfe to
muche of your wisdome, as, thogh like a most naturall good son you
charged them to seake all meanes the could deuis with wit or juge-
ment to save her life, yet I can not, nor do not, allege any fault to
you of thes persuations, for I take hit that you wil remember, that
advis or desiars aught ever agree with the surtye of the party sent to
and honor of the sendar, wiche whan bothe you way, I doute not but
your wisdome wil excuse my nide, and waite my necessitie, and notv
accuse me ether of malice or of hate.
And now to conclude. Make account, I pray you, of my firme
frindeship loue and care, of which you may make sure accownt, as one
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 45
that never mindz to faile from my worde, nor swarve from our league,
but wyl increase, by all good meanes, any action that may make true
shewe of my stable amitie; from wiche, my deare brother, let no
sinistar whisperars, nor busy troblars of princis states, persuade to
leave your surest, and stike to vnstable staies. Suppose them to be
but the ecchos to suche whos stipendaries the be, and wyl do more for
ther gaine than your good. And so, God hold you ever in his blessed
kiping, and make you see your tru frinds. Excuse my not writing
sonar, for paine in one of my yees was only the cause.
Your most assured lovinge sistar and cousin,
To my deare brother and cousin,
the kinge of Skotz.
Resauit 8 Feb rij 1586, be post.
DRAFT LETTER FROM JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
MARCH 1586-7. RYDER MSS. JACOB. NO. 5. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The king accepts the queen's purgation of herself "of yon unhappy
fact" — he hopes her honourable behaviour hereafter may persuade the
ivhole world of her innocency, — and that she will give him such satis-
faction as will unite the whole island and establish it in the true
A passage in Robert Cary's memoirs is almost a sufficient illustration of this letter.
"The next year," he writes, " which was 1586, was the queen of Scots' beheading. I
lived in court. ... At which time (few or none in the court being willing to undertake
that journey) her majesty sent me to the king of Scots, to make known her innocence of
her sister's death, with letters of credence from herself to assure all that I should affirm.
46 LETTERS OF
I was waylaid in Scotland, if I had gone in, to have been murdered; but the king's
majesty, knowing the disposition of his people, and the fury they were in, sent to me to
Berwick, to let me know that no power of his could warrant my life at that time ; there-
fore, to prevent further mischief, he would send me no convoy, but would send two of his
council to the bound road, to receive my letters, or what other message I had to deliver.
... I was commanded to accept the king's offer. Sir George Hume and the master of
Melven met me at the bound road, where I delivered my message in writing, and my let-
ters from the queen to the king; and then came presently post to court, where I had
thanks of her majesty for what I had done." (Memoirs, p. 12, edit. 1808.) The letter
from Elizabeth to James, of which Cary was the bearer, and the contents of which are
mentioned in the following letter, is stated to be in the possession of sir George Warrender.
(Tytler's Hist. Scotland, ix. 5.) We are now to present James's answer, which is, in fact,
his acceptance of Elizabeth's apology for having put his mother to death. It is printed
from a fair draft or copy, altogether in James's handwriting. I know no reason to doubt
that it was actually sent, but I am not aware of any evidence that it was so.
Madame and dearest sister, Quhairas by your lettir and bearare,
Robert Carey youre seruand and ambassadoure, ye purge youre self
of yone unhappy fact. As, on the one pairt, considdering your rank
and sex, consanguinitie and longe professed good will to the de-
funct, together with youre many and solemne attestationis of youre
innocentie, I darr not wronge you so farre as not to iudge honorablie
of youre unspotted pairt thairin, so, on the other syde, I uishe that
youre honorable behauioure in all tymes heirafter may fully per-
suaide the quhole uorlde of the same. And, as for my pairt, I looke
that ye will geue me at this tyme suche a full satisfaction, in all
respectis, as sail be a meane to strenthin and unite this yle, es-
tablish and maintaine the treu religion, and obleig me to be, as of
befoire I war, youre most louing.
This bearare hath sumquhat to informe you of in my name,
quhom I neid not desyre you to credit, for ye knou I loue him.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 47
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
RECEIVED 15 MAY, 1588. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO 8. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen is ready to drink of the river of Lethe and resume her friend-
ship with James, to whom she makes a solemn imprecation in proof
of her innoceney as to the death of queen Mary — professes deep
anxiety to serve him — thanks him for his communication to Cary of
offers made to him by other powers — warns him of their designs, and
begs him either to persecute her as his foe, or, if he will accept her
friendship, to use her like a prince who fears none but God.
The kingdoms of England and Scotland continued partially estranged for some few
months after the death of Mary, at first unwillingly so on the part of James, but he ultimately
yielded to the indignation of his subjects, and, for a little while, felt as bitterly against Eli-
zabeth as any one. In the meantime Elizabeth's difficulties increased. The probability was
daily augmenting that the long threatened preparations of Spain would shortly issue in
some attempt at an English invasion. The English queen knew that her enemies were
endeavouring to secure the aid of Scotland, in which there was a large party ready to join
them on the slightest summons, and she determined to thwart them. With that view she
sent her relative, Henry Cary lord Hunsdon, to renew her old intimacy with James. Huns-
don accomplished his embassy with as much success as could be hoped. James explained
to the English ambassador what tempting offers he had received from Spain, but assured
Elizabeth (I use the words of Mr. Tytler) ' l that she could not detest more deeply than
himself the plots of the papists; that none of the messengers of Antichrist, their common
enemy, should be encouraged; and that his single reason for suspending their usual loving
intelligence was a feeling that she had failed to vindicate herself from the guilt of his
mother's blood." (Hist. Scotland, ix. 21.) The following letter was written by Eliza-
beth to James upon Hunsdon's return to England. It is entirely in the queen's hand.
My pen, my deare brother, hathe remained so long dry as I sup-
pose hit hardly wold have taken ynke againe, but, mollefied by the
good justice that with your owne person you have bine pleased to
execute,* togither with the large assurance that your wordes have
* " To prove his sincerity against the catholics, he [James] summoned his forces, at-
tacked the castle of Lochmaben, . . . and, reinforced by an English battering train, beat
the castle about the ears of its captain, whom he hanged, with six of his men." Tytler' s
Scotland, ix. 21.
48 LETTERS OF
given to some of my ministars, wiche all dothe make me ready to
drinke most willingly a large draught of the rivar of Lethe, never
minding to thinke of unkindnes, but to turne my yees to the making
vp of that sure amitie and stanche good wyll wiche may be pre-
sently concluded in ending our league, that so unhappyly, to my
harts grife, was delaied and differd, assuring you, on the faith of a
christian and worde of a king, that my hart cannot accuse my con-
science of one thoght that might infringe our frindship, or let so good
a worke. God the chersar of all harts euer so haue misericorde of
my soule as my innocencye in that mattar deserveth, and no other-
wise ; wiche invocation wer to dangerous for a gilty conscience ; as
I have commanded this bearar more at large to tel you. And for
your part, my deare brother, thinke, and that with most truith, that,
if I find you willing to imbrase hit, you shal find of me the carefulst
prince of your quiet gouuernment, ready to assist you with forse,
with treasor, counsel, or any thing you shal haue nede of, as muche
as in honor you can require, or upon cause you shal nede. You
may the more soundly trust my vowes, for never yet wer the stained,
nether wil I make you the first on whom I shal bestowe untruthe,
wiche God wyl not suffer me live unto.
I have millions of thankes to rendar you, that so frankely told to
Cary suche offers as wer made you, wiche I doute not but you shall
euer haue cause to reioyse that you refuse ; for wher the meane to
weken your surest frind, so be you assured the intended to subiect you
and yours. For you see how the deale euen with ther owne in al coun-
tries lessar than ther one, and therfor God, for your best, I assure my-
selfe, wil not let youfaule into suche an aperte daunger, undar the cloke,
for al that, of harming other and aduansing you ; but I hope you wil
take Ulisses wexe to saue you from suche sirenes. Hit wer most ho-
norable for you, if so hit please you, to let them knowe that you neuer
sent for ther horse, thogh some of your lords (to bold with you in many
ther notions and over sawsy in this) made them beliue you con-
sented to ther message, wiche the themselues desired your pardon
for. This wyl make them feare you more hereafter, and make them
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 49
affraid to attempt you to weaken your assured frind. If I deserue
not your amitie persecute me as your foe ; but being yours, use me
like a prince who feareth none but God.
Your most assured loving sistar and cousin,
[Addressed, - ]
To our good brother and cousin,
the king of Scotland.
[Indorsed in another hand,]
15 Maij, 1588.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN ABOUT 1ST JULY, 1588. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 9. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen's satisfaction in James's belief that her truth in relation to
queen Mary's death is so manifestly proved, and that he is determined
to defend his own country against the Spaniards — duplicity attributed
to him by their enemies — she has sent an ambassador to conclude a
league ivith him — ivhat does he mean by " satisfaction " for queen
Mary's death ?
Whatever might be Elizabeth's expressed confidence in the sincerity of James's enmity
against the Spaniards, it is not to be supposed that she really felt anything of the kind.
Hunsdon's impression of the Scottish sovereign was, that the queen need not " look for
amity or kind dealing at his hand. ... If there were any good inclination in him towards
your highness,' ' continued Hunsdon, " which I neither find nor believe to be, yet he hath
such bad company about him, and so maliciously bent against your highness, they will not
suffer him to remain in it two days together." (Murdin, p. 591.) Still, whatever might
be James's dislike to Elizabeth, his interest in the succession to the English throne pre-
vented his making any profession of friendliness to the crusading invaders of England.
Elizabeth, as cunning as himself, played with him during the period of danger. Some
further communication seems to have ensued after the return of Hunsdon, the result of
which appears in the following letter. James professed himself determined to resist all
foreign invasion either of England or Scotland, but left a door of quarrel open by harping
upon " satisfaction " for the death of his mother. Elizabeth replied in the following auto-
graph letter, which she sent by William Ashby as her ambassador.
CAMD. SOC. H
50 LETTERS OF
I am greatly satisfied, my deare brother, that I find, by your
owne graunt, that you bilive the trothe of my actions so manifestly
openly proved, and thanke you infinitely that you profes so constant
defence of your country, togither [with] myne, from all Spaniardz
or strangers ; a matter fur otherwise given out by bothe our enemies,
withe blotting your fame with assurance of doble dealing, as thogh
you assured them under-hand to betake you to ther course ; wiche,
what a stain hit wer in a princis honor, you yourselfe in jugement
can wel deme. For my part, I wyl ever trust your word, til I be
so sure of the contrary. Right wel am I persuaded that your
greatest daunger shuld chanche you by crossing your strait pathes,
for he that hathe two stringes to his bowe may shoute stronger, but
never strait; and he that hathe no sure foundation cannot but ruine.
God kipe you ever therfor in your wel-begone pathe.
I have sent you this gentleman, as wel to declare my good agre-
ment to send some finischars of our leage, as other matters wiche he
hathe to communicate unto you, if hit please you to heare him ; as
my desiar of answering your good frindeship and amitie in as ample
sort as with honor I may, as one that never seakes more of you than
that wiche shal be best for your selfe. Assure your selfe of me,
therfor, and shewe by dides ever to mantaine hit, and never was
ther in christendome betwine two princes surar amitie nor soundar
dealing. I vowe hit, and wil performe hit.
And for that you speake oft of satisfaction, I haue much vrged,
as now againe I do, to knowe what therby is ment, sins I bothe
mynde, and also do, whatsoever may honorably be required of suche
as I profes my selfe; and therfor, I require you therin to answer
me. And so, trusting that all your protestations lately made me
by Cary shalbe readely performed, togither with your constant reso-
lute cours of late professed, I end to molest you longar, but, with
my thankes to God that any your offendars be entred to your hands,
and not the les not having bine done without some of our helpe,
whiche glads me no les than [if it had] happened to our selfe, whose
forse shal never faile you in all leaful causes; as knoweth God,
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 51
who euer bles you from all malignant spiritz, and increas your
Your most assurest sistar and cousin,
To our right deere brother,
the king of Scotland.
9 July, 1588.
JAMES TO ELIZABETH,
1st august, 1588. ryder mss. jacob. no. 6. contemporary copy.
Profuse professions of anxiety on the part of the Scottish king to be em-
ployed in the defence of England, not as a stranger but a compatriot.
The history of the following letter may be gathered from the circumstances of the time
and a paper printed in Murdin, p. 631. On the 17th July the armada was first descried
off the lizard. There immediately ensued that memorable succession of engagements
which terminated in its entire defeat. On the 27th July, the very day on which the
shattered fleet cast anchor " near to Calais road," the Scottish ambassador applied to secre-
tary Walsingham to know " what course his master should be advised to take." Walsingham
replied, that it would be agreeable alike to Elizabeth and the English people if he were to
send " by some gentlemen of good sort to make offer to her majesty ... to be ready with
his person and forces to do what he may for the advancement of the general cause." Wal-
singham added, that if the ambassador would write " with expedition," and send his letters
to him, he would cause them to be conveyed with all possible speed. Walsingham wrote
at Richmond, at 11 o'clock in the night of the 27th July ; the following letter is dated at
Edinburgh on the 1st August, and is in the very terms which Walsingham suggested.
Within a few days after it was written the miserable relics of the invincible armada were
off the coast of Scotland, scudding northward ; escaping in that way the patriotic fury of
the English seamen, but only to encounter the equally deadly rage of the tempestuous
Madame and dearest sister, In tymes of straitis trewe freindis are
best tryit. Now meritis he thankis of yow and your countray quho
kythis himselfe a freind to your countray and estate ; and so this
tyme must move me to utter my zele to the religioun, and how neir
a kinsman and neighbour I finde myself to yow and your countrey.
52 LETTERS OF
For this effect then have I sent yow this present, hereby to offer unto
yow my forces, my personn, and all that I may command, to be im-
ployd agains yone strangearis in quhatsumever facon, and by quhat-
sumever meane, as may best serue for the defense of your countray.
Wherein I promes to behave myselff, not as a strangear and foreyne
prince, bot as your natural sonne and compatriot of your countrey in
all respectis. Now, madame, to conclude, as, on the one pairt, I
must hartlie thank you for your honorable begynning by your am-
bassadour in offres for my satisfaction, so, on the other pairt, I pray
yow to send presentlie doun commissioneris for the perfyting of the
same ; quhilk I protest I desyre, not for that I wald have the rewaird
to preceid the desertis, bot onelie that I with honour, and all my gude
subiectis with a fervent guid will, may imbrace this your godlie and
honest cause, quhaireby your adversaries may have ado not with
England but with the whole ile of Bretayne. Thus, praying yow to
dispeche all your materis with all possible speid, and wishing yow a
successe convenient to those that are inuadit by Goddes professed
enemies, I commit, madame and dearest sister, your persoun estate
and countray to the blessed protection of the Almighty. From Edin-
burgh, the first of August, 1588.
Your most louing and affectionate brother and cousin,
as tyme sail now trye, James R.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN IN AUGUST, 1588. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 10. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The armada having been "well-beaten in our narrow seas," has been
carried to the coast of Scotland, where the queen doubts not it will re-
ceive small succour, unless the traitors who have been plotting with
Spain have been left at liberty — this tyrannical, proud, and brainsick
attempt will be the beginning of the ruin of the king of Spain; he has
procured Elizabeths greatest glory.
This noble letter, written by Elizabeth in the very culminating moment of her "greatest
glory," is full of that energy which more or less pervades every thing that fell from her
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 53
pen. The persons whom she pretends to believe James cannot have left at liberty were, of
course, Huntly and the other catholic earls who were continually intriguing with Spain
through the Jesuits. Her ambassador whom she so highly praises was Sir Robert Sidney.
This letter is printed in Rymer's Foedera, together with the one immediately preceding,
(vol. xvi. 18, 19,) but with such blanks and mistakes as fully justify their being reprinted.
Rymer printed from transcripts in the Cotton MS. Caligula, D. I. Mr. Ryder possesses a
contemporary copy of James's letter, and the original of Elizabeth's striking reply.
Now may appeare, my deare brother, how malice conioined with
might strivest * to make a shameful end to a vilanous beginning, for,
by Godz singular fauor, having ther flete wel-beaten in our narow
seas, and pressing, with all violence, to atcheue some watering place,
to continue ther pretended invation, the windz have carried them to
your costes, wher I dout not the shal receaue smal succor and les
welcome ; vnles thos lordz that, so traitors like, wold belie ther owne
prince, and promis another king reliefe in your name, be suffred to
live at libertye, to dishonor you, peril you, and aduance some other
(wiche God forbid you suffer them live to do). Therfor I send you
this gentilman, a rare younge man and a wise, to declare unto yov
my ful opinion in this greate cause, as one that neuer wyl abuse you
to serve my owne turne ; nor wyl you do aught that myselfe wold
not perfourme if I wer in your place. You may assure yourselfe
that, for my part, I dout no whit but that all this tirannical prowd
and brainsick attempt wil be the beginning, thogh not the end, of the
ruine of that king, that, most unkingly, euen in midz of treating
peace, begins this wrongful war. He hathe procured my greatest
glory that ment my sorest wrack, and hathe so dimmed the light of
his svnshine, that who hathe a wyl to obtaine shame let them kipe his
forses companye. But for al this, for yourselfe sake, let not the
frendz of Spain be suffred to yeld them forse ; for thogh I feare not
in the end the sequele, yet if, by leaving them unhelped, you may
increase the Englisch hartz unto you, you shal not do the worst dede
for your behalfe ; for if aught shuld be done, your excuse wyl play
the boiteux ; if you make not sure worke with the likely men to do
hit. Looke wel unto hit, I besiche you.
The necessity of this matter makes my skribling the more spidye,
* So in the orig.
54 LETTERS OF
hoping that you wyl mesure my good affection with the right balance
of my actions, wiche to you shalbe euer suche as I haue professed,
not douting of the reciproque of your behalfe, according as my last
messengier unto you hathe at large signefied, for the wiche I rendar
you a milion of grateful thankes togither, for the last general prohi-
bition to your subiectz not to fostar nor ayde our general foe, of wiche
I dout not the obseruation if the ringeleaders be safe in your handz ;
as knoweth God, who euer haue you in his blessed kiping, with many
happy yeres of raigne.
Your most assured louing sistar and cousin,
To my verey good brother the king of Scottz.
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
WRITTEN IN SEPTEMBER, 1588. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 50.
The king writes on the sudden return of an English ambassador — thanks
the queen for money, which he will repay with forces when required —
the Spanish fleet never came within " a kenning " of the coasts of
The ambassador who is referred to in the following letter was, as I suppose and have no
doubt, sir Robert Sidney, brother of sir Philip, in which case, the uncle whose sudden
death occasioned the ambassador's unexpected return to England was the celebrated
Robert Dudley earl of Leycester. Camden mentions that sir Robert Sidney was in Scot-
land in 1588, and returned in time to augment the general joy at the defeat of the armada
with tidings of the constant amity of the Scottish king, but he does not mention the pay-
ment of " the summes of money" which are alluded to in this letter, and which were, no
doubt, among the causes of James's constant amity. It will perhaps be thought that
James refers very slightingly to the death of a person so distinguished in the court of Eli-
zabeth as her favourite Leycester.
Madame and dearest sister, The suddaine pairting of this honor-
able gentleman, youre ambassadoure, upon thaise unfortunatt and
displeasant neuis of his onkle, hes mouit me with the more haist to
trace theis feu lynes unto you ; first, to thanke you, as uell for the
sending so rare a gentleman unto me, to quhose brother I was so
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 55
farre beholden ; as also, for the tayce * sending me such summes of
money, quhiche, according to the league, I sail thankfullie repaye
with forces of men, quhensoeuer youre estait sail so requyre, accord-
ing as my last letter hath maid you certified ; not doubting but, as
ye haue honorable begunn, so ye uill follou foorth youre course to-
uardis me, quhiche thairby f I shall so procure the concurrence of all
my goode subjectis with me in this course as sail make my friend-
shippe the more steadable unto you. The next is to pray you most
hairtly, that in any thing concerning this gentleman fallin out by the
death of his onkle, ye will haue a fauorable consideration of him for
my sayke, that he may not haue occasion to repent him of his ab-
sence at suche a tyme. All other things I remitt to his credite, pray-
ing you to thinke of me as of one quho constantlie shall contineu his
professed course, and remaine,
Youre most louing and affectionat brother and cousin,
Postcrip. I thocht goode, in kaice of sinistre reportis, madame,
hereby to assure you that the Spanishe flete neuer entered uithin
any roade or heauen within my dominion, nor neuer came uithin a
kenning neere to any of my costis.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
SEPTEMBER, 1589. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 24. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen sends an ambassador with " some tokens" in sign of her con-
gratulation upon James's approaching marriage — but for her honour's
sake, she ivould have hied post to be present at the marriage — the affec-
tion which she has borne from childhood to the parents of his bride.
This letter, and several subsequent ones, have relation to the period of the marriage of
* So in the orig. The word which the transcriber mistook was perhaps " layte."
+ Perhaps this ought to be, " quhiche- whairby."
56 LETTEKS OF
king James. The present one was written, as it seems to me, at the time when the espoused
queen, having set sail from her native Denmark, was daily expected to arrive in Scotland. It
is well known that she was obliged by long- continued contrary winds to take shelter in a
port of Norway, and that James most chivalrously set sail from Scotland and fetched her
from the obscure harbour in which she had found refuge.
As no tidinges, my most deare brother, can euer come out of sea-
son to me that may brede you honor or contentement, so this last
newes, thogh soudaine, of the aproching neare of your coming quene,
bids me so muche to bode you all the best blessings that the mighty
God can send you, as in witnis therof to salute you bothe with an
embassader, and some tokens, for signe of the happinis I wische that
feast, and the gladnis my hart shuld haue receued if hit wer as law-
full to honor hit with my presence as hit is sure that I bles hit with
my orasonns. And for that the spide of suche a bargen was far
greatar than the expectation of her arrivall, you wyll, I trust, blame
yourselfe, and impute no neglect to me, that my messangers come
after the solempnites : for I assure you, but for my honor sake, my
wyl wold haue hied ther post with smaller company than fitz my
place. And in meane while, let hit content you to giue me so
muche right as to assure yourselfe no witnis ther of so princely a
pact shall wische hit more succes, nor greatar lasting joy, than my-
selfe, that wischeth sign king no longar while than to see the per-
fourmance of suche alliance, hauinge besides yourself, wiche is the
principall, an inward zele, wiche, sins my childhold, I haue borne to
the parentes of your honorable quene, to whome I desiar all felicitie,
and neuer shal skrape from my memorye the intire loue the bare me ;
as knoweth God, who euer bles you and gide you.
Your most assured loving sistar and cousin,
To my deare brother the king of Skotes.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 57
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
1590. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 27. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen's thankfulness that James's untimely and evil-seasoned journey
has so far prospered — warns him of dangerous intrigues which are
in progress during his absence and which are to be attributed to his
own past foolish levity — urges him to hie his return and to give needful
directions in the mean time — returns her thanks for a proposal for
peace with Spain, which she supposes came through him — her wrongs
are such as a king ought rather to die than not avenge, but she will
not oppose any proposal for stopping christian blood.
This letter was written to James during his absence in Denmark. The conspiracies
alluded to were those of Huntly and his confederates, the great " catholic earls " of
Althogh my faithe stands me, my deare brother, in so good stede,
as, without assurance by any one [but] your owne hand-worke, I do
beliue that God hathe, of his goodnes more than your hide, prosperd
to good end your vntimely and, if I dare tel truthe, ivel-seasoned
journey, yet I may no longar, thogh my courage could stay me til
you first began, that best hathe cause to acknowelege thankfulnes,
stay but let you knowe, what humble sacrifice of thankes I yeld to
the Omnipotent for your safest stop for al your hard cours, and am
so bold to chalenge some part of that seurty to my heartiest oraisons
powred out of no fained lippes, wiche best is pleasing to his eares.
And do beseche the same to send you, in this noble-raced linage,
suche lasting joy as the continuance may yeld you bothe happy.
And now to talke with you frely as paper may vttar conceit. Ec-
cept my howrely care for your broken countrey, to to muche infected
with the maladie of strangers humors, and to receue no medecin so
wel compounded as if the owner make the mixture appropriated to
the qualetye of the siknes. Knowe you, my deare brother, for certaine,
camd. soc. I
58 LETTERS OF
that thos ulcers that wer to muche skined with the doulcenes of your
applications wer but falsly shaded, and wer within filled with suche
venom as hathe burst out sins your departure with most lewd
offers to another king to enter your land, with declaration of ther as-
sured perfourmance of ther by-passed helpes, and numbars great to
take ether part. If with my yees I had not vewed thes treasons, I
would be aschamed to write them you. And shal I tel you my
thoght herein ? I assure you, you ar wel worthy of suche traitors,
that, whan you knewe them, and had them, you betraied your owne
seurty in fauoring ther liues. Good Lord! who but yourself wold
haue left suche peple to be abel to do you wrong. Giue ordar with
spide that suche skape not your correction, and hie your retourne,
that is more your honor than a other mans land, without you mynde
to make you seme innocent of your realmes ruine, whan absence wil
sarue but for your bad excuse. Sild recouvers kings ther dominion
whan greattar posses hit, yea, suche as ther owne skars may indure
for ther tirany.
My deare brother, you see how fur my intire care drawes me out
of the limites that anothers affaires shuld plucke me to, but all suche
error I hope you wyl impute to affection, not my curiositie, and beare
with ouerplaine imputation, sins hit springs of so good a roote. I
craue of you, for your owne best, to authorize, yea, animate, your
faithfulst and giltles of this conspiratie, that the feare not to appre-
hend in time (I pray God not to late), all suche as any way the may
suspect or knowe to be pertakers of this faction. Beliue no more to
dandel such babies, as may, or they come to honestie, shake your
chaire, for you haue had to sowre experience what suche vane opinions
hath bred you. I wyl not faile, from time to other, to warne suche
as I may thinke most clere of this infection of all my knowelege in
this dangerous season, daring so muche in your absence as to animat
them not to lingar this great mattar til your retourne, for I knowe
that wer to late ; the dayes that the haue giuen ar shortar than to
expect so longe. If my prayers wer not more than my good [writing],
I shuld be sory to retaine your yees on so rude skribling, wherfor I
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 59
end, with my incessant prayers to God for your safe kiping and ioy-
Your most affectionat lovinge sistar and cousin,
To my deere brother and cousin the king of Scotland.
After the finisching of my lettar, ther came to my handz an overtur
that makes me suppose hit could not, nor durst not, haue bine offerd
me without your consent, albeit for hit I nether saw your commis-
sion nor receued from you one word therof, but for al that, hit
makes me see that your sight serues you not alone for present vewe,
but makes you to beholde the state of distant countries wiche do fele
the smart of my vndeserued hate, and makes the innocent bloud cal
for reuenge of euel-framed iniuries. And thogh my conscience cannot
accuse my thoghts to haue by any cause procured suche an ennemy,
and that he hathe to plainlye soght my life and kingdome, yet, I
think myselfe obliged to you that wold make end of so uniust a war,
and acknowelege the ded king of famous memorie * more happy in
suche faithful councelars than I see many kings in ther liuing ser-
uantz. And for that they offer me, I wyl euer cronicle them
amonge the iust fulfillars of true trust. And albeit my wrongs be
suche as nature of a king aught rather, for ther particular, dye than
not reuenge, yet the top of my courage shal neuer ouerstreche my
hart from care of christian bloud, and for that alone, no feare of him,
I protest to God, from whom bothe iust quarel, faithful subjectz, and
valiant acts I dout not wil defend : yet, am I thus content that you
shal folowe the wel-deuised methode, and if he wyl giue playne
grant without a gileful meaning, I wil make knowen that in me the
lack of so good a worke shal neuer be found.
* Frederick II. of Denmark died 4th April 1588. His ministers, then in the service
of his son and successor, and James, during his stay in Denmark, set on foot a proposal for
a peace between England and Spain, to which this postscript alludes.
60 LETTERS OF
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
MAY 1590. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. 26. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
Congratulations upon James's return to Scotland with his queen — he is
urged to punish those of his subjects who have been plotting in his
absence, and is forewarned of danger in case he neglects — the queen
knows that " some had the view of her letters " — if her admonitions
vain she will counsel no more.
James having returned home, the queen reiterates the advice contained in her last letter.
Neglect of her forewarning soon produced the results which she anticipated.
The strife is great, my deare brother, wiche shuld win, ether the
care of your perilous journey or the joy of your safe retourne, but,
leuing them in ther batail, I assure you I can scars giue a tru verdit
who is the victorar, but only this I dare say, that no one that liveth
thankes God more deuoutly for al your eskapes, nor is more joyful of
your sure arrivall than myself, who could not stay but salute you,
togither with your honorable espouse, and by this ambassade make
you know how grateful suche newes wer to me, besichen God to bles
you withe suche benedictions as he bestoith with largist giftes, and
make your contentementz long and prosperous.
And now that you bied wher yourself, I doubt not, wyl haue an
accownt of what in your absence hathe bine ordred, I hope you wyl
not be careles of suche practisis as hathe passed from any of yours
without your commission, spetially suche attemptz as might ruin your
realme and danger you. If any respect whatever make you neglect
so expedient a worke, I am affraid your careles hide wil worke your
unlooked danger. Thinke not but I knowe how some had the vewe
of my lettars, in wiche you did your selfe les honor than to me
harme, and yet you see hit warnes me not ynough from againe to
ventur the like hap. But as no hate to any of them (God I cal to
witnis) procured me hireto, so only care of your sure gouuernement
hathe made me deale this far, and, if I see al admonition so uaine, I
wil hireafter wische al wel, but counsel no more at all. I can not
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 61
forget to reiterat my thankes for suche your offars as hit pleased you
by justice-clarke to make me, and as I shal hire more therof from
you I shal concur with you in so holy an action. And thus I end
troubling you with my skribling, with my prayers to the Almighty
for al prosperitie in your dayes.
Your most affeetionat sistar and cousin,
To our deere and loving
brother the king of Scotland.
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
18th march 1588-9. copy in Thompson ms. p. 11.
The king thanks Elizabeth for acquainting him with certain intercepted
letters — he has sent the laird of Wemyss to establish a solid friendship
between England and Scotland, and to solicit the queeris advice as to
how the king may settle his state and person in such respects as maybe
required of one of his age and calling.
The following extract from Tytler's Hist, of Scotland, ix. 27, sufficiently illustrates this
letter. " Letters were intercepted by Burghley which proved in the clearest manner an
intended rebellion [in Scotland], They were seized on the person of a Scotsman, who was
detected carrying them to the prince of Parma, and expressed, on the part of Huntly,
Morton, Errol, and the rest of the catholic noblemen and gentry of Scotland, their infinite
regret at the discomfiture of the Armada . . they assured the Spanish king that six
thousand Spaniards once landed there [in Scotland] would be joined by an infinite
multitude of Scotsmen animated with the bitterest hatred to England, and who would serve
him as faithfully as his own subjects . . Copies of these letters were instantly sent
down to James." Mr. Tytler adds, what, but for our knowledge of James's habitual deceit-
fulness, would appear very strange to the reader of the following letter, that James " at
first disbelieved the whole story, and dealt so leniently with the principal conspirators, that
the plot, instead of being crushed in its first growth, spread its ramifications throughout the
country, especially the northern counties, and grew more dangerous than before. Huntly
was indeed imprisoned, but his confinement was a mere farce. The king visited him in
62 LETTERS OF
his chamber and dined there ; permitted his wife and servants to communicate freely with
him; wrote him an affectionate remonstrance, and even kissed and caressed him." An open
rebellion, which was easily put down, was the result. This letter has been unfortunately
misplaced. It should have been No. XXXIII.
Madame and dearest sister, I uaire to inexcusablie to blaime of
inaqualitie, if I should prease by complements of wordis, to conter-
uail your actionis touardis me at this time, in the cairfull, kynde, and
freindlie acquenting me with such intercepted letteris, as micht con-
eerne my persone and estait. My thankfullness, then, must kythe
in actionis, quhich ye may assure yourself shall at no tyme be
spairid for the uellfair of your person, estait, and cuntrie. My dili-
gence, in the mean tyme, for tryall of this practices, I remit to the
daylie report of youre ambassadour heir,* and for the obuiating of
those and the like assaultes of Sathan against this yle, I have heir-
uith directed unto you my trustie and familiare seruant the lairde of
Ueimis, alsueill by establishing a solid freindship amongst us to
strenthen this yle against all the aueiud inuaideris thair of, as to
craue youre aduyce for my particulare behauioure in preparing my-
self and cuntrie as the necesitie of the time shall require; and
speciallye, hou to settle my stait and person in suche respectis as may
be requiyred of one of my age and calling. But, remitting the par-
ticulairis heirof to my ambassadoure, quhom I pray you firmlie to
trust, I will, with my many and hairtiest thankes unto you for your
so louing using of me at this tyme, committ you to the safe protec-
tion of the Allmichtie. From my palleys of Holirud house, the
xviij. daye of March 1588.
Your most louing and affectionate brother and cousin,
I pray you, madame, to cause hasten hir the commissioneris of the
Lou Contreys for the reparation of thaise debtis craved by some of
William Ashby was at this time resident English ambassador in Scotland.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 63
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
6TH JULY, 1590. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 29. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
Elizabeth is well recompensed for all her trouble taken for James
by the affection expressed on his behalf by the bearer — rise of a
dangerous sect who would have no kings but a presbytery — James is
requested to stop the mouths or make shorter the tongues of the minis-
ters in Scotland who pray for those who are persecuted in England
for the sake of the gospel — and not to harbour English traitors.
The following letter was sent to James by sir John Carmichael, whom the Scottish
monarch had deputed to the English court upon a special embassy in relation to a proposal
for a general peace. Mr. Tytler has printed it with a few variations (Hist. Scotland, ix.
54) from a copy preserved in the state paper office, which gives the date under which I
have placed it. The bitter passages respecting the English presbyterians shew in what
way Elizabeth regarded the proceedings of Travers, Cartwright, and their coadjutors.
Greatar promises, more affection, and grauntz of more acknowe-
legings of receued good turnes, my deare brother, none can bettar
remember than this gentilman by your charge hathe made me
understand; wherby I thinke all my endeuors wel recompensed,
that see them so wel acknoweleged ; and do trust that my counseles,
if the so muche content you, wil serue for memorialz to turne your
actions to serue the turne of your safe gouernement, and make the
lookars-on honor your worthe, and reuerence suche a rular.
And lest fayre semblance, that easely may begile, do not brede
your ignorance of suche persons as ether pretend religion or dis-
semble deuotion, let me warne you that ther is risen, bothe in your
realme and myne, a secte of perilous consequence, suche as wold
haue no kings but a presbitrye, and take our place while the inioy
our privilege, with a shade of Godes word, wiche non is juged to
folow right without by ther censure the be so demed. Yea, looke
we wel unto them. Whan the haue made in our peoples hartz a
doubt of our religion, and that we erre if the say so, what perilous
64 LETTERS OF
issue this may make I rather thinke than mynde to write. Sapienti
pauca. I pray you stap the mouthes, or make shortar the toungz,
of suche ministars as dare presume to make oraison in ther pulpitz
for the persecuted in Ingland for the gospel.
Suppose you, my deare brother, that I can tollerat suche scan-
dalz of my sincere gouuernement ? No. I hope, howsoeuer you
be pleased to beare with ther audacitie towards your selfe, yet you
wil not suffar a strange king receaue that indignitie at suche cater-
pilars hand, that, instede of fruit, I am affraid wil stuf your realme
with venom. Of this I haue particularisd more to this bearar, to-
gither with other answers to his charge, besiching you to heare them,
and not to giue more harbor-rome to vacabond traitors and seditious
inventors, but to returne them to me, or banische them your land.
And thus, with my many thankes for your honorable intertaine-
mentz of my late embassade,* I commit you to God, who euer
preserue you from al iuel counsel, and send you grace to folow the
Your most assured loving sistar and cousin,
[Addressed,] Elizabeth R.
To my deere brother,
the king of Scotland.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN IN APRIL 1591. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 11. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
Letter of thanks to James for delivering up to the queen her " lewd
rebel" with emphatic promises of similar conduct on her party if the
occasion should arise.
The "lewd rebel," to whom the following letter relates, was Brien O'Rourke, a native
* The earl of Worcester was sent to Edinburgh in* June 1590 to invest the Scottish
monarch with the order of the garter.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 65
Irish chieftain. He was arraigned at Westminster upon a charge of treason on the follow-
ing 28th October. The indictment was explained to him by a sworn interpreter — for
CRourke was ignorant of English. He refused to be tried by a jury unless he had counsel
assigned to defend him, and unless the queen would be one of the jurors. Sentence of
death was passed upon him, and he was executed at Tyburn, with all the customary hor-
rors, on the 3rd November, 1591. A particular account of this terrible act of barbarity
is given by Stowe and Camden. The case is not printed in the collections of state
My deare brother, As ther is naught that bredes more for-thinking
repentance and agrived thoughtes than good turnes to harme the
giuers ayde,* so hathe no bonde euer tied more honorable mynds,
than the shewes of any acquital by grateful acknowelegement in
plain actions ; for wordes be leues and dides the fruites. Wiche I
may not forget to remember in your present fact, granted so frely,
in deliuering up my lewde rebel, whose person and forse, thogh ne-
ther be aught worthe, as who, for his greatnes, being a base varlet,
drawes few for sequel, nor his birthe so great as a meanar than a
prince nides feare, yet I wold haue bine agrived that so lewde a
mynd shuld haue found fauor in so deare a brothers dominion,
and do assure you, that I wil lay this part in the safest cornar of
my memorye, to serue me for example of a like acquital, if suche
ivel accident shuld happen you. And in meane while, thanke my-
selfe, not you alone, that haue made so good a choise of so sounde
an election upon whom to spend the chifest care of my endeuors, as
I hope you haue hiretofore tried, and this may make increase.
The two gentilmen, I trust, shal receaue your thanke for per-
forming so wel ther charge, wiche, I beseche you for my sake, the
may receaue; not a litel wondring why your subiectz of Glasco
shuld doute the stop of ther trafique for so poore a caytife, who was
neuer of abilitie to make or giue trafique. The ar sorely misin-
fourmed of his greatnes. A few sort of outlawes fils up his traine,
and of the meanest sort. I trust you wyl make them knowe your
faithful ministars must not be niknamed " the English feade men."
* i. e. good turns made to conduce to the harm of the doer.
CAMD. SOC. K
66 LETTERS OF
I protest I haue no suche in your realme, for, if the principal faile
me, I shal neuer care for adiacentia.
I rendar for this my most loving and deare thankes, acknoweleg-
ing the kinnes more than the act, and bothe so honorable as shal
neuer be blotted out of my thankefulst mynde, adding therto the
sincere ordar giuen for our bordars matters ; tokens sufficient to
shewe your grateful hart and princely mynd, wiche I meane to re-
quite and acknowlege, as knoweth the liuing God, who I am sure
wyl make your subiectz the surar that you abhor anothers traitors.
Among wiche, I must not forget your most kind vsage in the answer
that my arche-rebel, Westmarland, shal receue from you, wiche shal
serue him, and all suche, to knowe that ther neuer shal remane
with you ether helpe or hap for suche wicked members of a kingly
rule. This shal retourne to you with triple fold of good regard
amonge your owne, if the see your justice to anothers traitor, yea to
suche a one as made me knowe a traitor in my land.* I wyl end to
troble your yees with my skribling, but neuer end to care for you and
yours as for my owne. God euer bles you, and make you kipe your
regal authoritie, and make yours knowe you.
Your most assured loving sistar and cousin,
To my verey good brother,
the king of Scotz.
Resaued from Mr. Bowes, penult. April. 1591.
* Westmerland is afterwards termed by Elizabeth " the first traitor that ever my reign
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 67
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
18TH OCTOBER, 1591. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 35. ORIG.
The queen requests the Scottish king to concur with her in assenting to
the temporary absence of Robert Bowes, her ambassador, to attend to
his private affairs in Yorkshire and Durham.
Right high right excellent and mighty prince, our deerest brother
and cousin, we greete you well. Our servant, Robert Bowes, hold-
ing the place of our ambassadour with you, hath, upon vrgent cause
concerning himself in his perticuler state, humbly signified his desier
to haue som small tyme graunted vnto him for his repayre into
Yorkshire and the bissoprike of Durham, the places where his landes
and ly ving doo laye, wherein he having receauid som hurt and de-
triment since the time of his absence, through the charge he hath
from us with you, is in danger of furder losse if he may not in tyme
prevent the same ; we haue, therfore, bene pleased for our parte to
condescend to his humble request herein, as a matter very reasonable
to be graunted him, as we thinke yourself will also judge of it, and
be pleased to gyve your good liking and assent thervnto, which we
desier you to doo, not doubting but in six or eight weekes he shall
settle and compound his causes in such good sorte as to return again
well furnished to the place of his charge with you, to your good con-
tentment. And so, right high right excellent and mighty prynce,
and deerest brother and cousin, in our most affectionate manner we
commend vs to you, and you to the protection of Almighty God.
Given at our mannor of Richmond, the xviij th of October, 1591.
Your loving sistar and cousin,
[Addressed,] Elizabeth R.
To the right high right excellent and
mighty prince, our deerest brother and
cousin, the king of Scotland.
[Indorsed,'] 1591. 3 Nouemb. Delyvered be Mr. Bowes.
68 LETTERS OF
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
24TH DECEMBER 1591. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 14.
The king has awaited letters from Elizabeth — has written thrice without
reply — wishes to be informed, 1st, respecting BuccleucKs detention at
Berwick for some border matter, and, 2nd, respecting the non-pay-
ment of the pension allowed by Elizabeth to James, respecting which
he writes with considerable indignation.
Madame and derest sister, Your silence hathe bein so long, and I
haue so long awaited upon your breaking thairof, that I am forced
now at last to remember you again by this few lines. I haue written
thrie letters unto you, and has never as yett recaued answer of any
of them, aither by word or write, wich mo vis me to thinke that my
lettres neuer came to youre hands, especially my last, quhairin I
wrote als plainly, and als louingly, unto you as I could. Quhat can
I thinke, except that aither ye haue bein by sume greatly abused, or
els in other weghtie affaires greatly distracted ? Howsomever it be,
I am sure ye could not 'haue taken a greatar tryall of my patience ;
but presupposing that my lettres came neuer to youre hands, yet
could you not be ignorant of the subject of thaime, alswell by Buk-
leuche his deteaining in Barwick, as by Robert Tousies endles detean-
ing thair. As for Bukleuche, I thought the greate care and pains
that all this year I had takin in the bordor matters, togither with his
delyuerie, had geuin als muche proofe of my good will as deserued
at the least ane anser, if not thanks. For my part, I am ready to
perfyte the entrie of the all pledges ; but if that course lyke you not,
as it appearis by your long delays, I wold lykwais know it. And
as for Robert Tousies earand, it is turned from one honorable an-
nuitie to a volantarie uncertaintie almost after long begging, and
now, at last, to als muche worse than nothing, as there is tyme spent
in the seeking of it. I pray you, madame, excuse my impatience in
this ; it is no wonder I wearie to be so long time sutire, as one who
was not borne to be a beggar, but to be beggit at. A short refusall
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 69
had les displeasid me than any anserlesse and disdainfull delay. Re-
member, that as I ame your kinsman, so am I a true prince. The
disdaining of me can be noe honor to you. The use of tempting your
freinds so sore cane turne you to no advantage. If you thinke my
frendshipe worthie that annuitie, remember, qui cito dat bis dat Let
not the circumstances of the giver disgrace the gifte, for I wearie to
be a suter, and for your pleasure I will promeis neuer to chalenge
that debt any more if ye will not be contente als frielie to pay it as
freelie ye promusit it. I must, once again, pray you to excuse my
impatience, for thaire cannot a greater greif cum to an honest hairt
than to be slightied be thaime at quhose handis he hathe deseruid so
well as my conscience bearis me upright recorde I have euer done
at youris. My faulte is the lesse that I complaine of you to your
selfe ; and I will yet hope that ye will giue furth a just sentence in
my favour, and applaud my free speaking in pleading my just cause.
And thus, madame and dearest sister, I committ you to the tuition of
the Almightie. From Holyrud house, the 24 th December, 1591.
Your most louing and affectionat brother and cousin,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN IN JANUARY 1591-2. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 12. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen is grateful for James's escape from great danger which she
foretold, although, Cassandra like, she was never credited — the rebel-
lion of the catholic lords was the calends of this last attempt — she does
not like to lose labour in giving advice which is of no avail — prays
that God may unseal his eyes.
The danger alluded to in the following letter arose from one of those violent attempts
upon the liberty of the sovereign to which James was so often exposed. On the present
occasion the notorious Bothwell was the actor. Its history is thus given by Mr. Tytler :
"Attacking the palace of Holyrood at the head of his desperate followers, he [Bothwell]
had nearly surprised and made prisoners both the king and the chancellor . . An alarm
was given : the king took refuge in one of the turrets ; the chancellor barricaded his room,
70 LETTERS OP
and bravely beat off the assailants ; whilst the citizens of Edinburgh, headed by their pro-
vost, rushed into the outer court of the palace, and, cutting their way through the outer
ranks of the borderers, compelled Bothwell to precipitate flight." — Scotland, ix. 64.
My deare brother, Thogh the heringe of your most daungerous
peril be that thing that I most reuerently rendar my most lowly
thankes to God that you, by his mighty hand, hath skaped, yet
hathe hit bine no other hazard than suche as bothe hathe bine forsien
and fortold ; but Cassandra was neuer credited til the mishap had
rather chanched than was prevented. The poore man who, against
his wyl, was intercepted with all suche epistelz as traitors sent and
receved, was for reward put to the bootes ; so litel was any thing
regarded that procided from your best frind, and yet the matter
made to aparant, or many days after, throw the traiterous assembly
of your euidant rebelz, that with banner displaied and again you in
the fild. Thes wer the calendes of this late attempt. I knowe not
what to write, so litel do I like to loose labor in vaine ; for if I saw
counsel auaill, or aught pursued in due time or season, I shuld thinke
my time fortunatly spent to make you reape the due fruit of right
oportunitie ; but I see you haue no luk to helpe your state, nor to
assure you from treasons leasur. You giue to muche respit to rid
your harme and shorten others hast. Wei, I wyl pray for you,
that God wyl unseal your yees, that to long haue bin shut, and do
require you thinke that none shal more joy therat than myselfe, that
most I am sure grives the contrary. Aston hathe told me some of
your request, to wiche I haue made so reasonable answer as in reason
may wel content. Praying God to defend you from all mishap or
Your most assured loving sistar and cousin,
[Addressed,'] Elizabeth R.
To my right deare brother the king of Skotz.
[Indorsed, - ] Delivered be Roger Ashton, xxviij. Ja ri J 1591.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 71
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN IN JANUARY 1592-3. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 13. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
Although James had not answered the queen's late letters she cannot
withhold writing in the midst of the wonders that meet her ears — she
reviews her past conduct toivards the Scottish king from his childhood —
reminds him of his having disbelieved the discovery of the treason of the
catholic lords, and put her messenger into the boots — a lewd fellow has
now been apprehended with letters and instructions — she intreats that
he may be well handled — she has heard that James has granted a par-
don to a person who conspired against her — she requires that the con-
spirators be intrapped before they are aware.
The following letter, which must take a high place among the most vigorous compositions
of the queen, was written to James upon the discovery of that conspiracy which is familiarly
known by the name of the Spanish Blanks. Upon the person of George Ker, brother of lord
Newbottle, who was arrested in one of the small islands at the mouth of the Clyde whilst en-
deavouring to get away to Spain, were found various mysterious blank papers addressed to .
the king of Spain, and signed by Huntly, Errol, Angus, and the other chiefs of the
catholic party. Being exposed to torture, the unfortunate messenger confessed that these
blanks were a contrivance of certain Jesuits, and that they were to be filled up by him
upon his arrival in Spain in certain forms agreed upon with the persons whose signatures
they bore, and that they related to a meditated landing of thirty thousand Spanish troops
in Scotland, who were to be joined by the subscribers with fifteen thousand of their own
retainers. Upon the first discovery of this dangerous plot, but before its details were fully
unravelled, Elizabeth addressed the following stimulating letter to the Scottish monarch,
whose mode of treating the previous conspiracies of the same persons had very much dis-
pleased her majesty.
My most deare brother, Wondars and marvelles do so assaill my
conceatz, as that the long expecting of your nideful answer to matters
of suche waight as my late lettars caried nides not seame strange.
Thogh I knowe the aught be more regardid, and spidely per-
formed, yet suche I see the emminent danger and wel-ny ready ap-
proche of your states ruin, your Hues peril, and naighbors wrong, as
I may not (to kipe you company) neglect what I shuld, thogh you
forget that you aught. I am sory I am driuen from warninge to
heed, and from to muche trust to seake a tru way how your dides,
not your wordz, may make me assurance that you be no way gilty
72 LETTERS OF
of your owne decay and other danger. Receue, therfor, in short,
what cours I mynd to hold, and how you may make bold of my un-
fained loue and euer constant regard.
You knowe, my deare brother, that, sins you first brethed, I re-
garded alwais to conserue hit as my womb hit had bine you bare.
Yea, I withstode the handz and helps of a mighty king to make you
safe, iven gained by the bloud of many my deare subiectz Hues. I
made myself the bulwark bitwixt you and your harmes whan many
a wyle was invented to stele you from your land, and making other
posses your soile. Whan your best holdz wer in my handz, did I
retaine them ? Nay, I bothe conserved them and rendred them to
you. Could I indure (thogh to my great expence) that forennars
shuld haue foteing in your kingdome, albeit ther was than some law-
full semblance to make other suppose (that cared not as I did) that
ther was no danger ment ? No. I neuer left til all the Frenche that
kept ther life parted from your soile, and so hit pleased the Hiest to
bles me in that action, as you haue euer sins raigned void of other
nation than your owne. Now, to preserue this, you haue overslipt
so many soundry and dangerous attemps, in nether uniting with
them whan you knewe them, nor cutting them of whan you had
them, that if you hast no bettar now than hiretofor, hit wyl be to late
to helpe whan non shal avale you.
Let me remember you how wel I was thanked, or he rewarded,
that ons broght all the lettars of all thos wicked conspirators of the
Spanische faction, even the selfe same that yet stil you haue, to your
eminent peril, conserued in ther estates. Was I not so muche douted
as hit was thoght an Italian invention to make you holde me dearer,
and contrived of malice, not don by cause ; and, in that respect, the
poore man, that knewe no other of his taking but as if thiues had as-
sailed him, he most cruelly soufert so giltles a marterdome as his tor-
mentors douted his life ; so sore had he the bootes, whan the wer ivel-
worthy life that bade hit. See what good incouragement I receved
for many wacheful cares for your best safty ! Wel, did this so dis-
comfort my good wyl as, for al this, did I not euer serue for your
true espiall, iven whan you left your land and yours ready, wel-ny,
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 73
to receaue suche foraine forsis as the required and wer promised ;
wiche, if you had pleased to knowe, was and is to evident to be
proved. But what of all this, if he who most aught, did naught to
assure him, or to requite them ?
Now, of late, by a fortunate good hap, a lewd felowe hathe bine ap-
prehended with lettars and instructions. I pray God he be so wel
handeled as he may confes all his knowlege in the Spanische conspi-
racie, and that you use not this man as slightly as you don the ringe-
leaders of this treason. I vowe, if you do not rake hit to the botome,
you wyl verefie what many a wise man hathe (vewing your proci-
dings) judged of your gilttines of your owne wrack ; with a wining,
that the wyl you no harme in inabling you with so riche a protector,
that wyl prove, in the ende, a destroiar.
I haue beheld, of late, a strange, dishonorable, and dangerous par-
don, wiche if hit be true, you haue not only neglected yourselfe but
wronged me, that haue to muche procured your good to be so ivel-
guerdoned with suche a wrong, as to haue a fre forgiuenes of aught
conspired against my person and estat. Suppose you, my deare
brother, that thes be not rather enseignes of an enemy than the tast
of a frinde ? I require, therfor, to al this, a resolute answer, wiche
I chalenge of right, that may be dides, bothe by spidy apprehension
with bisy regard, and not in sort as publik rumor may precede
present action, but rather that the be intrapped or the do looke ther-
for ; for I may make deme you wold not haue [them] taken, and what
wyl folowe than, you shal see whan lest you looke. Think me, I pray
you, not ignorant what becometh a king to do, and that wyl I never
omit; praying you to trust Bowes in the rest as myselfe. I am
ashamed that so disordard coursis makes my pen excide a lettar, and
so drives me to molest your yees with my to long skribling, and
therfor end, with my ernest prayers to God that he wyl inspire you
to do, in best time, al for your best.
Your loving affectionat sistar,
[Addressed,] Elizabeth R.
For our deare brother the king of Scotland.
[Indorsed,] Deliuered be Mr. Bowes, ambassador, xxj. Januar. 1592.
camd. soc. L
74 LETTERS OF
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
23rd may 1592. ryder mss. eliz. no. 34. orig.
Credentials for Robert Bowes returning to Scotland as the queen's
This letter has reference to letter XXXIX. Bowes appears to have been absent about
Right high right excellent and right mightie prince, our dearest
brother and cousin, in our hartiest manner we commend us unto you.
Where we were contented, certain monthes paste, to license our ser-
vant Robert Bowes, then our ambassadour resident with you, to
come to his countrye for expeditinge of certaine his priuate affaires
which could not be conueniently ordered but by his own presence ;
and that, uppon signification thereof made to you by our letters, you
were well contented therewith. Since whose comminge from thence
we understand of many accidentes there happened to the troubling of
your estate, and if wisdome and princely authority be not by you
used to prevent perilles appearing, we have cause to doubt of greater
danger to followe. Therefore, hauing care for your estate to con-
tinew as peaceable as our owne is, by Gods goodnes, and being
desirous from tyme to tyme to heare of your direct proceadinges in
overruling your disobedient subiectes, who are boldened, as we are
well assured, by the faction and practises of such as are knowne
sworne papists, both abroad and at home, and professed enemyes to
the amitye betwixt vs and you and our countries, we doe therefore
return our said seruant to reside with you as our ambassadour as
heretofore he hath been, so as all former intelligences may continew
betwixt you and us by his seruice there with you, both hoping and
wishing, that now, in the intended parlement, which you, as we
heare, have summoned, your nobillity and people that are most
deuoted to your estate and to your honnour and person may fynde
countenance and supportation, against others that shalbe found to
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 75
contemne your authoritye, and to lyue vnruly, against God and your-
selfe and to the diminution of your royall and princely estate and re-
putation ; whereof we shall take most singular comfort, as knoweth
the Almighty God ; who holde you in his protection. Gyuen under
our signet, at our manor of Grenewich, the xxiij 111 of May in the
xxxiiij th yeare of our raign, 1592.
Your most lovinge sistar and cousin,
[Addressed,] Elizabeth R.
To the right high right mighty
and right excellent prince, our
dearest brother and cousen, the
king of Scotlande.
K. Scotland 1592, presented be Mr. Bowes, 3 Junij.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
llTH SEPTEMBER, 1592. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 88.
The queen vehemently urges James to punish those who disturb him
with their reiterated traitorous attempts — expresses her astonishment
that he should submit to be " a clerk to such lessons," and strongly
advises him never to pardon his factious rebels.
The date given to this letter is added in the margin of our MS. It is not very clear
that it is right, for the letter is one which might have been written at various periods of
James's reign. During several months of the year 1592 the sovereign of Scotland was
literally driven from place to place by the persevering, factious Bothwell; and, if the date
assigned to this letter be correct, it is to that state of things that the indignant queen al-
ludes. Whenever written, the letter is most characteristically Elizabethan.
The deare care, my deare brother, that ever I carried, from your
infancye, of your prosperous estate and quiet, could not permite here
of so manye, yea so traiterous, attemptes, without unspeakeable do-
lour and unexpressefull woe, of which to be [by] your owne messen-
76 LETTERS OF
ger assertened, breeds my infinite thankes, with many a gratefull
thoughte for so kynde a part. Too redouble crymes so oft, I say
with your pardone, most to your charge, wich never durst have bene
renewed if the first had receaved the condigne rewarde ; for slacking
of due correction engenders the bolde mynds for newe crymes. And
if my counseils had als well bene followed as they were truely meant,
your subjects had nowe better knowen their king, and you no more
neede of further justice. You finde by sowre experience what this
neglect hath bredd you.
I heare of so uncouth a way taken by some of your conventions,
yea agreed to by your selfe, that I must [wonder] howe you will be
clarke to suche lessons. Must a king be prescribed what counsayl-
ours he shall take, as if you were there ward ? Shall you be obliged
to tye or undoe what they lyst make or revoke ? O Lord, what
strange dreames here I, that would God they were so, for then at
my wacking I should find them fables. If you meane, therefore, to
raigne, I exhorte you to shewe you worthy the please, wich never
can be surely setled without a steadye course held to make you
loved and feared. I assure myself many have escaped your hands
more for dreade of your remissnes than for love of the escaped ; so
ofte they see you cherishing some men for open crymes, and so they
mistrust more their revenge than your assurance. My affection for
your best lies on this, my playnesse ; whose patience is to much
moved with these lyke everlasting faults.
And since it so lykes you to demande my counsaile, I finde so
many ways your state so unjoynted, that it needs a skilfuller bone-
setter than I to joyne each part in his right place. But to fulfill
your will, take, in shorte, theise few words: For all whoso you
knowe the assaylers of your courts, the shamefull attempters of your
sacred decree, if ever you pardon, I will never be the suter. Who
to peril a king were inventores or actors, they should crake a halter
if I were king. Such is my charitie. Who under pretence of bet-
tering your estate, endangers the king, or needs wil be his schoole-
masters, if I might appoint their universitie they should be assigned
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 77
to learne first to obay ; so should they better teach you next. I
am not so unskylfull of a kinglye rule that I would wynke at noe
faulte, yet would be open-eyed at publyke indignitie. Nether
should all have the whippe though some were scourged. But if,
lyke a toy, of a kinges liefe so oft indangered nought shall followe
but a scorne, what sequele I may doubte of such contempt I dread
to thinke and dare not name. The rest I bequeath to the trust of
your faithfull sarvant, and pray the Almighty God to inspire you in
time, afore to late, to cut their combes whose crest may danger
you. I am void of malice, God is judge. I knowe them not. For-
give this to to long a writing.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
26TH NOVEMBER 1592. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 91.
The queen rejoices that the king has not been deceived by offers made by
the Roman catholic earls — the injury Spain has received from
attempting the queen's guiltless wrack — those who have designed to sell
their country should never be trusted — one of the confederates has
offered to make a disclosure of their names and how the king might
entrap them — what would James have the queen do ?
The date given to this letter is assigned to it in the Thompson MS. The general
circumstances to which it relates are sufficiently obvious. Huntly and his friends, driven
from court by the universal indignation excited by their brutal murder of the bonny earj
of Murray, had been striving to make terms with James. The original of this letter is in
the possession of Sir George Warrender. (Tytler's Scotland, ix. 423.) It was delivered
to James by Bowes on the 4th December 1592.
My deare brother, If the misfortune of the messengers had not
protracted to long the receipt of my letters, I had sooner receaved the
knowledge of such matter as would have had my sooner aunsweare to
causes of suche importance ; but, at length, though long first, I per-
ceave ho we, to the privy snares of your seeming friends, you have so
78 LETTERS OF
warely cast youre eyes, as that your mynd hathe not bene trapped
with the false shewes of such a kindnesse, but have well remembred
that proved cares and assured love ought of meere justice take the
upper hand of begiling deceipts and colloured treasons. You forgett
not, I perceave, howe you should have served once for pray to enter
the hands of forreners rule, even by the intisement of him that offers
you that he cannot gett, wich if he should, [would] serve his trophe,
not yours, whose land he seeks but to thrall bothe.
It gladds me muche that you have more larger sight than they
supposed that would have lymed you so. And, for my part, I ren-
der my many thanks to yourselfe for your self, as she that scornes
his malice, and envies not his intent. My enemye hathe never done
himselfe more skare then to will my guiltless wrack, who ere now,
himself knowes, hathe preserved hym his countryes who since hath
sought myne. Such was his reward ! God ever shield you from so
crooked a will as to hazard your owne in hope of gaininge anothers.
You knowe right well there is a way to gett that doth preced the
attempt. When he hath wonne the entry, you shall have least part
of the victory, who seeks to make, as oft hath been, your subjects
theirs. Suppose, I beseach you, how easely he will present you the
best, and keep the worst for himself. This matter is so plaine it
needes small advice. Preserve yourself in such state as you have.
For others, beguile not yourselfe, that injuriously you may gett.
There is more to doe in that, then wiles and wishes. Looke about
with fixed eyes, and sure suche to you as seicke not more yours then
you. Avance not suche as hang their hopes on other strings than
you may tune. Them that gold can corrupt, think not your guiftes
can assure. Who once have made shippwrack of their contrie
let them not injoy it. Weede out the weeds lest the best corne
fester. Never arme with power suche whose betternes must follow
after you, nor trust to their trust that under any cullour will thrall
their owne soyle.
I may not, nor will I, conceale overtures that of late have amply
bene made me, how you may playnely knowe all the combyners
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 79
against your state, and how you may intrapp them, and so assure
your kingdome but to you, not permitting it a sport to strangers
curtesye. One or more of their own companie is this actor, and
therefore knows it best, in wiche he standeth to your honor.
Whither, if this be so, he deserve suertie of lyef, not of land nor
ly velyhood, but suche as may preserve breath, to spend when best
shall please you. My aunsweare was, when I see the way howe, I
will impart it to whome it most appertaines. Now bethinke, my
deare brother, what further you will have me do. In the meane
while, beware to give the raygnes into the hands of any, lest it be
to late to revoke such actions done. Let no one of the Spanishe
faction in your absence, yea when you [are] neer present, receave
strengthe or countenance. You knowe, but for you, all of them be
alyke to me, for my particular, yet I may not denye but I abhorre
such as sett their contry to sale. And thus, committing you to
Gods tuition, I shall remain the faithfull holder of my vowed amytie
without spott or wrinkle.
Your affectionat sister,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
12TH FEBRUARY 1592-3. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 38. ORIG.
Letter of credence for the lord Borough sent on special embassy to the
king of Scots.
The person to whose mission the following letter relates was Thomas lord Borough, who
was afterwards successively governor of the Brill and lieutenant of Ireland. It was
the object of his embassy to Scotland to give an answer to James respecting lord Both well,
whom the Scottish sovereign accused Elizabeth of harbouring in England, and to incite the
king against the Spanish conspirators. James was outwardly pursuing them with great
severity ; but it was universally believed that it was his real intention to screen them from
80 LETTEBS OF
Right high right excellent and mighty prince, our deerest brother
and cousin; Whereas we haue at this present sent unto you in
speciall ambassade this noble man, our right trusty and right welbe-
louid the lord Burgh, with charge of certain matteres to be delt in
and communicated unto you from us, we earnestly pray you, that, as
the same be of no small importance, and concerne the weale of both us
and our realmes, so you will accordingly consider of them as pro-
ceeding from a priiicesse who having alwayes heertofore tendred your
state, and bene desyrous of all good and prosperous succes in your
affaires and gouuernement, doth still retayne the same ernest affec-
tion and care towardes you ; and so we doubte not but in your owne
good l jugement you rest perswaded. frayeng you, that in such
thinges as the said lord Burgh shall imparte unto you in our name,
you will give him full credit. Thus, we beseech Allmighty God,
right high right excellent and mighty prince, our deerest cousin and
brother, to assist and protecte you with his holy fauour in all your
good actiones. Written at Westminster the tweluith of February
Your most affectionate sistar and cousin,
To the right high right
excellent and mighty prince,
our good brother and cousin,
the king of Scotland.
Deliuered by the lord Borrough the xvj. of Marche 1593.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 81
NO. XL VII.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN IN MAY 1593. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 14. OBIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen returns a million of thanks to James for his answer sent to
that wwked traitor Westmerhmd — she hears that some nobleman has
been oxcused of a design against James's life 9 and entreats him not to
make small regard of such a crime.
Charles Neville, the sixth and last Neville earl of Westmerland, to whom the following
letter relates, dragged out a miserable life.as an exile for 30 years after the discomfiture of
his rebellion in 1569. He severaHimes endeavoured to procure James to interest himself
with Elizabeth on his behalf, but it was no part of her character to overlook such offences
as his. The latter part of the letter probably relates to the incident mentioned in 4he fol-
lowing passage in Calderwood's History of the Kirk of Scotland, v. 250, Wodrow edition :
" Upon Wednisday, the second of May, Clunie Crichtoun was apprehended, and sharply
examined before the king and counseill, for intentioun to have taken the king by the horse
brydle, and to convoy him to Both well."
No sample bettar triar of truthe, my deare beloued brother, than
whan dides dothe give a right sequel to wordes precedant, the report
of wiche profe sins your actions make me, iven in the last just
handeling of that wicked traitor Westmerland, whom many benefitz
of life and lande, besides all other kind and louinge traictmentz,
could neuer let but he wold nides make his name the first traitor that
euer my raigne had ; to whom, nether cause, nor iniury, nor pouerty,
nor il vsage, gaue euer shadowe of mene to moue suche a thoght, but
wer hit not that he liueth by my meanes (whom many wold, for the
horror of his fact, or now haue dispached), securus propter contemptum 9
els hit had not bine possible for him to haue liued to this howre ; but
I dout not but your answer to his treasonable lettar wyl make him,
and suche like, knowe that you not only hate the treason, but do owe
as muche to the traitor ; and, I assure you, I wil neuer suffer that
this fact of yours shal retourne void, but wil euer recompence you
withe the like, with my million of thankes for suche kinglike part
And, now, I heare that some nobleman hath bine accused of so
CAMD. soc. M
82 LETTERS OF
horrible a crime as my hart rues to remember. For Godz loue, look
throw no spectacles to your owne safety. Your yees be younge, you
nideth not haue a clere sight in your so nye a cause, and let your
counseil see that you wyl not easely be begiled in making to smal
regard of that wiche toucheth life — yea, of a king ! For overgreat
audacitie wyl brede, to a mynde that may be sone perswaded that all
is wel, to do the boldlar a wicked act. Hard is the skul that may
serue in place of suche a danger, nay hit may bride hit to neglect
hit. You haue had many treasons wiche to tendarly you haue
wrapt vp. I pray God the cindars of suche a fire bride not one day
your ruine. God is witnes I malice none, but for your seurty is
only the care of my writing. I desiar no bloude, but God saue
yours. Only this my long experience teacheth me ; whan a king
neglectes himself, who wyl make them enemis for him ? Let this
serve you for a caveat. You wil beare with the fault that affection
commiteth, and use the profit to your best good. For wiche I wyl
euer pray to God, who long defend you from al treachery.
Your most assured loving sistar and cousin,
While Bodewel is in this case, give ordar, I beseche you, that the
ordars so wel begone may be perfourmed, and so continued, and that no
man haue rule ther that taketh not to hart the quiet of bothe realmes.
[Addressed, - ]
To my deare brother the
king of Skotz.
Delyuered be Roger Aston xiiij. May 1593.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 83
No. XL VIII.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN IN JULY 1593. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 93.
The queen, having discussed the condition of Scotland with James's
ambassador, the bearer of this letter, has sent her advice fully by him
— an example must be made to insure the safety of the better part —
Bothwell shall receive what he deserves — the queen has sent a small
sum of money by the bearer.
"On the 7th of June," says Calderwood (vol. v. p. 252), "sir Robert Melvill went in
ambassage to the queen of England, with an answer in writt to the last ambassador's
articles, and to receave the king's annuitie; to crave Bothwell to be delivered, and aide
to persue the rebells," that is, the Roman catholic earls. The following answer was sent
by Elizabeth to James on sir Robert MelvhTs return.
My deere brother, That my many preventions and your often
warnynge have not served so farr fourth your towrne as my care
and your neede would have requyred, I cannot but regreat, and you
may make a patrone wherby such mischieves may hereafter be croste
afore they creape to ripenes, for at the furst they are sooner shonned
than after cured.
I yelde you many thanks for the dy verse parts of naturall kynd-
nes that by this gentleman I have understoode, and dare assure you,
that no parte thereof shall fall to the ground without his just acqui-
tall. At large I have discoursed for your estate, and have thereof
adjoyned my advice and counsell, ever the very like as yf myne
owen case that touched, without malice, voide of deceite, and clere
from any faction, but only adheringe to your safetie, which being
preserved, I have obtained the scope of my designes. A long roted
malady, falling to many relapses, argues, by reason, that the body is
so corrupt that yt may be patched but never sound. When great
infections light on many yt almost poisoneth the whole countrey.
Yt were better, therfore, that the greater parte were kept solide
though some infected perish. Preserve the better part, and let ax-
ample fear the follower. The paraphrase of this text yt may please
84 LETTERS OP
yow here this gentleman to make, and after hearing, if this lecture
please, yow could behold as in a glass the inside of my inward harte
unto you, and there yow should view no hate to any, no bloody de-
syre, no revengeful mynd, but all fraught with thought how safely
to preserve yow from domestick and foraine guiles ; and should per-
ceive no drifte for others raignes or rule but yours alone, to whom I
wish all yours so bound as for no ambition they danger or perturbe
you, nor for private malice or singular affection they bend to band
for Scotlands baine. Let no man murmurre at your favours em-
ployed as best you like. Your servants, let them voide first that so
place away their duties. They should dislodge that so would rule.
Yf a king will endure, he shall have indignities enough, but rarely
will they venture ther losse yf they hooped not to boldly. You see
how farr the trust you repose in me hath transported me, and made
me over lavish in bablinge my conceils. I hope the cover of good
will will quite me of oultrecuidance*
As for Bodwell, I besech yow way well what this bearer can
justly tell yow of me herein. I suppose his owne conscience will
never accuse me of any over greate partiality that way. He hath seen
to much to beleve yt. Yf my mynde have, more for their particular
than my charge, forgotten what they should, they shall receave
what they deserve, but yeld yow me my right, or els you should
wronge your self to iniure me.
The small token you shall receave from me I desire yt may serve
to make you remember the tyme and my many weighty affaires,
wich makes yt les than else I would, and I dowt nothing but when
you heare all, yow will beare with this. And thus havinge to longe
molested your eyes with my scrattinge, I bequeath yow to the safe
protection of the Almighty, who longe and many yeres graunt you
to live, with my best loving recommendations.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 85
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN IN AUGUST OR SEPTEMBER 1593. RFDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 15. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen expresses her amazement at James's being reconciled to a
person whom he had professed that his heart abhorred — he should
make his subjects know his power , and not allow them to tell him what
he ought, nor dare to presume upon what they may.
This letter refers to one of those sudden coups d'etat by which the government of Scotland
so frequently changed hands. James was not only unwilling to punish the Roman catho-
lic earls, he was clearly friendly to them and their party, in spite of their obvious treason.
This fact was so extraordinary, that the people could only account for it by supposing that
the king had some secret intention to proclaim himself a convert to Roman Catholicism.
The mere suspicion of such a thing gave power to Both well, who, with all his faults, was a
protestant, and therefore popular. Assisted by his friends at court, Bothwell was enabled
on the 24th July, 1593, to enter the palace unperceived, and make himself master of the
royal person. Whilst in the power of the Bothwell party, James promised many things
which he never dreamt of performing. These were the promises at which Elizabeth in the
following letter professes her amazement.
My deare brother, I doute so muche that 1 wot not wither I dreame,
slombar, or heare amis, whan newes was broght that the wer in your
bosome whom I haue hard from yourselfe your hart aborred. I
thought [it] so strange, that I did suppose the lenghs of miles betwixts
vs might make way to untru leasings inough, and skars could afourd
my belife the graunt to trust hit. But, after a few days, perceauing
that suche blastz wer verefied by your hand-writ, with an addition of
the fact pardoned, and al attoned : than, what I thoght I leaue you to
ges, after the rule that my ever care for your best deserues other ac-
cidentz in sequele. What the wer, and how I could allowe, I refer
to your iugement, according [to] the mesure of tru kingly ordar ;
but this, in somme, take at my hand, as greatest pawne of my sincerite.
If you wyl, thogh you haue not, or had, as you did not, kingly and
resolutly, make your unsound subiectz knowe your power, and not
to overslip suche as by strangers helpe may danger you and yours,
nether shuld your subiectz nede tel you what you aught, nor the
dare to muche presume of what the may v I have delated to my em-
86 LETTERS OF
bassador sufficiently this, with more, to whom I pray you giue firme
credit, as to myselfe. The long profe that his faithe hathe made you,
may cause you trust him, without any addition. And wyl comit
you to Godz tuition, who saue you euer from seaming true.
Your most affectionat sistar and cousin,
To our good brother the king of Scotts.
Deliuered at Sterveling be Mr. Bowes,
19* September 1593.
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
19th sept. 1593. copy in Thompson ms. p. 17.
Thanks for kind treatment of ambassador, for payment of annuity, for
offer of ships to repress rebels in the western isles, and for promise
never to hurt James's title — explanation of James's conduct towards
the Roman catholic earls — of the escape of two of the prisoners from
custody — of the treatment of Bothwell — of a proposed agreement
between him and Huntly — and of the king's choice of councillors.
The following letter was written in reply to the last communication of Elizabeth, and
bears date on the very day when that last communication reached James's hand. It con-
tains a plain statement of what James wished to be believed respecting his position, and of
the circumstances upon which he himself relied, in defence of his conduct both towards
the Roman catholic party and towards Bothwell. It is one of the clearest and least pedan-
tic of the known letters of the Scottish sovereign, and will be found to be of great historical m
value as illustrating the important events which agitated Scotland during the eventful
years 1592 and 1593.
Madame and dearest sister, It uas no negligent unthankefulnes
that maid me, euer since my lait ambassadouris returne, keip silence
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 87
towardis you quhill nou, but only because that never quhill nou, I
coulde, both with honour and suirtie, advertishe you of the treuth
of my estait since the falling out of this lait accident heir. I cannot
eneuch thanke you of youre so kyndlie accepting of my late ambas-
sadoure, and for the loving and friendlie dispatche ye gaue him,
especiallie for that prive and most familiare dealing ye hadd with
him, euen without the priuitie of any of your owin counsall, but,
most of all, for your honorable promeis neuer to hurt my title not-
withstanding of the main assaulties geuin you thairin. I also thanke
you for that ayde ye haue sent me of the annuitie, quhairin I con-
sider the great charges ye are presentlie at, and doubtis not but
quhen it shall please Godd to lessen thame, ye will be myndfull of
your promeis in that matter. I am also obleist unto you for your
promeis to assiste me with tuo schipps, quhensoeuer I shall take
occasion to prosecute the rebellis of the yles, quho are also assistains
of your rebellis in Yreland.
Nou, madame, as to the estaite of my effaires heir. I ressauid late-
lie a letter of youris, togither with sum doubtis deliuerid by your
ambassadoure, quhairin ye desyre to be fullie satisfeid, quhairunto,
for escheuing of tedious long summes, I ansoure summarillie, and
to the substance, thoch not point by point as it is proponid. And,
first, concerning the papist rebellis. According to my promeis made
to the lorde Burghe, I was fulley resolued to haue procedit to thaire
forfaltoure at the last parliament, if tuo lettis hadd not interueind ;
the one, that, taking the aduocatis oathe, quhither he thocht ue hadd
sufficient lau for us, or not, to proceid against thame, ue found
plainlie oure lau uolde not permitt it, quhairin if oure aduocate*
hadd bene a flatterair, he had betrayed the cause, if that maitter,
being putt to jugement, had gone against us, as suirlie it uolde haue
done ; the other was, the sayde rebellis hadd so trauelled by indirect
meanes with euerie nobleman, as, quhen I felt thair myndis, first
* " Mr. David Makgill, the king's advocate, a man of extraordinary talent." (Tytler's
Scotland, ix. 100.)
88 LETTERS OF
apairt and then being conueind together, thay plainlie, and all in one
uoyce, refdsid to yeild to any forfaltoure, quhairupon I uas forcit to
continue that maitter to the next parliament, and thay to remane re-
laxit in the meane tyme, otheruayes thair summoundes behouit to
haue deserted. And, althoch thair relaxation gaue full libertie to
euerie man to intercommun and ressett thaime, yett thay neuer
kythit thamselfis publictlie in any place, quhill this lait accident of
Bothuellis surprysing of my person, and now of lait thay incessantlie
make petitions unto me, not only offering but crauing a trayall, pro-
mising faithfullie, humblie to confess quhateuer thay haue comitted,
but denying the cheif point, quhiche they remitt to tryell, and offer-
ing to giue quhat suirtie I please to deuyse, for goode ordoure in
tymes cummyng, not only for this cuntrie but lykeuayes concerning
your part, and the quhole yle. As for me, I haue euer yett refuisde
to neare of thame, quhill first ye uaire maid acquainted thairuith, not
onlie because that maitter concernis you als well as me, but also be-
cause of your secreate and freindlie message with sir Robert,* that if
I coulde not finde the meanis presentlie hou to pursue thaime with
rigoure, ye wolde then, for the respect ye hadd to my uell and saue-
tie, deale and giue youre aduyce, quhat conditions of suretie micht be
takin of thaime thairfor. Madame, since I cast still a deafe eare to
all thaire offers quhill I heare youre ansoure, I pray you hasten it
als spedilie touardis me as goodlie ye may, and make me obleist in
giuing me that aduyce quhiche ye haue obleist me in making so
kindlie ane offer of allreaddie.
And as to maister George Herris escaype, or Angusis ather, if
thay hadd bene in the toure of London, and hadd als false knaves to
thair keiparis, (quhom thay bribbit and maid to flee with thaime,)
thay hadd playid the lyke, for since that tyme souir experience hath
taucht to my self that the thickness of no wallis can hold out treason.
And as for Bothuellis cumming about me, I cannot suirlie uonder
eneuch that ye, being so wyse a prince, and of so great intelligence,
* Sir Robert Melvill, the ambassador before alluded to.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 89
should have bene so euill and uncertainlie aduertishit thairof, for, as
Bothuellis first in-cumming uas uiolent and alltogether without my
preuitie or consent, so was his behauiour thairefter uiolent and irre-
uerent, not respecting nor remembring in the end quhat he promeisid
at the beginning, gairding me as I hadd bene his laufull prisoner,
and aprehending dyuers of my most speciall domestike seruantis,
quhose custodie he comittid to the greatest of the bordure theuis,
quhill at last I was forcit, not onlie for my ouin safetie, but also for the
safetie of my quhole cuntrey in me, for the quhich I ame borne more
then for my self, to graunt him almost quhateuer he required. And
now of laite, since I came out of his handis, after conueining of my
estaitis, althoch I coulde not by any law or reason be obleist to ob-
serve that quhich at so unlauchfull a tyme I had promeised, yett,
partlie for that I uolde not incurr the shlander of the breaking of, it
waire, but the shaddou of a promeis, and pairtlie at the humble suite
of the saidis estaitis for quyeting of the cuntrey, that thair-throuch
justice micht be aquallie ministrat hearafter upon all other enormi-
ties, I uas content to graunt him in substance, thoche in a more
honorable forme, that quhiche of lalt he hadd unlauchfully purchest
of me. These uaire the causes, madame, of my pardoning him,
and not any change of my opinion touardis him, quhom indeid, in
most thingis, I persaue to be the same man he uont to be. If he
behaue himself well hearafter, the better will it be for him ; if other-
wayes, ye and all the cristen princes in the world shall be uitnessis
of my pairt.
And quhairas ye uas informed that he and his complices hadd
crauid of me the prosequting of the papistis, alledging that for ane
excuse of thaire irruerend behauioure. Upon my honoure, it was
neither intendit nor alledgit ; nor no other cause, but the bair seeking
of his own releif and securitie. And by the contrarie, all his com-
plices haue, euer sen his incumming, delt with me for agreing him
and Huntlie, with promeis of conformitie on Bothuellis pairt, and
Coluill has ofFerid himself to be the doare of it unto me, and uithin
foure days before the wryting of this, Bothuell sent directlie to
CAMD. soc. N
90 LETTERS OF
Huntlie to craue speaking of him quyetlie. Quhatt I uritt in
this I uritt not upon reportis but upon certaintie, and as I ame
And as for the choice of my councellouris, I intended to make no
other choice but of those same quhose names I sent to you, for I
trust ye shall uith tyme knou I have not bene chaingabill to my
seruaunts, suppose so many of them haue chaingid upon me. And
thus, thanking you hairtelie for the honorable disallouing of the dis-
turbairs of my estait, and for youre motherlie caire in all my
adoes, I committ you, madame and dearest sister, to Goddis most
holy protection. From my pallis of Falklande, the xix. of Sep-
Your most loving and affectionat brother and cousin,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN EARLY IN OCTOBER 1593. RYDER MSS. ELI2. NO. 16. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
Astonishment at the variableness of James's conduct, and that he should
be guided in the treatment of the catholic earls by one lewd advocate —
strenuous arguments to induce him to proceed with severity against
them — counsel also respecting the treatment of Bothwell and James's
general conduct, especially in reference to offers of foreign aid.
This letter is Elizabeth's reply to James's letter of the 19th September. Her comments
upon the advice of the advocate seem founded upon the mistaken supposition that he was a
hired pleader for the Roman catholic earls; but even the mistake is valuable, as calling forth
the expression of an indignation very characteristic of the writer. In the after part of the let-
ter, her majesty, in her rough, vigorous way, completely strips James of the plausible defence
which he had put forth for his treacherous leniency to the enemies of protestantism.
My deare brother, If the variablenis of Skottis affayres had not
invred me with to olde a custom, I shuld neuer leue wondring at
suche strange and vncought actions, but I haue so oft with careful
yees foresine the ivel-comming harmes, and with my watche for-met
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 91
with chifest attemptz, and see them ether not belived or not redrest,
that I wex faint vndar suche burdain, and wery of fruictles labour.
One while, I receue awright* of obliuion and forgiuenes, than a revo-
cation, with new additions of latelar consideration ; sometimes, some
you cal traitors with proelame, and anone, ther must be no profe al-
lowed, thogh neuer so apparent, against them. Yea, if one lewd ad-
uocat, perchance hired for the nonest, dar pronounce a sentence for
them, thogh one of like state denye the same, his word must not take
place. Hit semes a paradoxe to me, that, if of two plaidars one be
for the king, the equal number shal not serue for a king. I muse
how any so lewd a man hathe bine chosen for suche a place, as durst
come in open vew to pleade against his mastar. Ther office is, as to
do right so do the soueraine no wronge. If he had douted, as no
honest man could, he ought bine absent rather than ther to play so
vnfitting a part, thogh secretly he had told hit you. He is happy he
is no Englis man. You shuld haue hard other newes of him than.
Old Meluin,f I perceaue, hathe told you a pece of a tale and left out
the principal. My wordes wer thes : " I heare say the offending lordz
hopes by ther frindz to skape ther paine ; I suppose your king to wise
to be so unmindful of his peril to suffar vnprosecuted suche as wold
tral ther country to strangers curtesy, hauing knowen hit so plain
and so long, for this is not ther first offence. But if his powre
serued not to apprehend, yet to condempne I douted not, for if euer
he wold pardon them, wiche I could hardly counseil, yet I could not
thinke without some obligation to some other prince, that, for ther re-
quest, he wold do hit."
Now to this great cause that toucheth us bothe so muche. First,
considar of what profession the be ; next, to whom the haue made
vowe for religion, the wiche I call christian treason, under what cloke
so neuer. I haue oft told you I was neuer horsleche for bloude, but
rather than your ouer-trust shuld peril the creditor, I wold wische
them ther worst desart. Than how to credit that so oft hathe de-
ceued ? My braines be to shalow to fadom that botome. How hardly
* writ. f Sir Robert Melvill.
92 LETTERS OF
remedies be aplied to helpe inveteratid maladies ! I haue small skii
of suche surgery. In fine, I see nether jugement, counseil, nor sure
affection in so betrayinge advis as to giue your selfe suche a lasche
that the shal be bothe vncondemned and saued. What thanke may
the giue your marcy whan no crime is tried ? What bond shal tye
ther profert loyalty if no precedent offencis past be acknoweleged by
confession ? Shal the leue to adhere to that party wiche the neuer
made ? Or what othe shal be sure to suche as ther profession skars
thinkes lawful for a trust ? I vowe to the liuinge Lord, that no ma-
lice to any, nor turbulent spirit, but your tru seurty and realmes
fredom, inforseth my so plain discours, wiche cannot omit that ther
be left so great a blot to your honor as the receuing them uncon-
demned to your grace.
And for Bodwel, Jesus ! did euer any muse more than I, that you
could so quietly put up so temerous, indigne, a fact, and yet by your
hand receving assurance that all was pardoned and fmisched. I refer
me to my owne lettar what dome I gaue therof. And now to heare
al reuoked, and ether skanted or denied, and the wheele to turne to
as il a spouke. I can say, bad is the best, but yet of iuelz the lest is
[to] be taken. And if I wer in your place, I wold, or he departed,
make him try himself no sutar for ther fauor whos persons let him
persecute, so shal you best knowe him, for ther be liars if depely the
have not sought him or now.
But that I way most is the smal regard that your sure party may
make [of] you, whan the see you adhere to your owne foes, habandon-
ing the others seruise. I feare me the fame blowes to fur that you wyl
not pursue the side of wiche you be, what so your wordes do sound.
And this conceat may brede, if not already, more unsound hartz than
al the paching of thes bad matters can worke you pleasure. You ar
supposed (I must be plain, for dissemble I wyl not,) to haue receued
this heretical opinion, that foreign forse shal strengthen you, not in-
danger you, and that al thes lordes seake your greatnes not your
decay. O, how wicked sirenes songes ! wiche, in first shewe, pleas ;
in ende, ruines and destroies. Wax ynough of Godz raison befal
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 93
you to resist so distroing aduis, and be so wel lightned as not so
dark a clowde may dim you from the sight of your best good, wiche
cannot be more shunned than by the not yelding to so betrainge
deceat ; from the wiche I wil incessantly pray for your deliuerance.
Wisching you many days of raigne, and long.
Your most assured sistar,
To my good brother the king of Scotland.
Sent to me to be pfited to his ma tie at
Thirlestane xix. Octob. 1593.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
29TH OCTOBER, 1593. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 37. ORIti.
Special letter of credence for Bowes, the queen's ambassador, she being
hindered from writing herself
The nature of Bowes's special message to which the following letter relates may be in-
ferred from the allusions to it in the next letter from James.
Right high right excellent and mighty prince, our deerest brother
and cousin, Whereas we have at this present written at good length
to our servant Robert Bowes, our ambassadour resident with you, of
some important materes meet for you to haue knowledge of, which
ourselfe wolde by our own hand-wryting haue imparted unto you,
rather then otherwise, if at this instant other waighty occasiones wold
have given me leasure, we have therefore thought good hereby to
mak this request unto you, that ye will heare and give credence to
our said ambassadour as much as if we had with our own hand written
unto you, in such materes as we haue at this tyme given him charge
94 LETTERS OF
to open and communicate unto you; which we doubte not but ye will
please readily doo, both in respect of his honesty and good dealing
well knowen vnto you, and whereof we assure ourself ye are well
persuaded, and of this our request also, thus at this tyme made unto
you. And so, right high right excellent and mighty prince, our
dearest brother and cousin, we desire Allmighty God euer to haue
you in his holy protection. Given at our castle of Windsor, the
xxix th of October 1593, in the xxxv th yeare of our raigne.
Your most affectionat sistar and cousin,
Deare brother, Let this credit, I beseeche you, be so far belieued as
whos answer may continue or breake our frindship. Thinke not
wordes without effectz shall deceiue me. For your own best hit is
that I demande, whoso shal otherwise thinke wyl bigile you.
To the right high right excellent and mighty
prince, our deerest brother and cousin, the
king of Scotland.
Deliuered be Mr. Bowes viij Nouember 1593.
Ed r . [probably Edinburgh.]
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 95
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
7TH DECEMBER 1593. COPT IN THOMPSON MS. P. 22.
James replies to Elizabeth's letters Nos. LI. and LII. — the earls
have acknowledged certain offences, but all deny that the Spanish
blanks had the meaning attributed to them — the estates of Scotland
having been convened to consider the question had come to certain de-
terminations which are submitted to the queen for her consideration and
advice — in reference to that part of her last letter which related to a
border fracas, James has directed the principal offender to be delivered
to her warden.
James's lenient policy towards the catholic earls had now gone the length of procuring
an arrangement by which they were to be pronounced free of the accusations brought
against them respecting the Spanish blanks, provided they would renounce Roman
Catholicism and submit to the kirk. If they refused to profess themselves converts to pres-
byterianism, their estates and honours were to be forfeited, and they themselves were to be
driven into exile. In the following letter, James announces this determination to Elizabeth.
After her expressed opinions, there could be no doubt that such an arrangement would be ex-
tremely offensive to her. One is curious therefore to see in what way the subject is presented
to her by the plausible Scottish sovereign. No one will deny that he got through his task skil-
fully. Mr. Tytler, without having seen this letter, which is now published for the first time,
printed Elizabeth's answer to it from the original in the possession of sir George Warrender.
(Hist. Scotland, ix. 141.) It is a remonstrance written in her boldest and most scornful
manner. As it was the subject of a good deal of comment in subsequent letters, it shall
be added, as printed by Mr. Tytler, in a note.
Madame and dearest sister, since youre ressait of my last letter I
have receaiut tuo from you ; one of your owne hand, another with
a postscript onlie of your hande ; * the former being an ansoure to
my last, the other, a letter of creditt to youre ambassadour.
As to the letter of your owin hande, it containis, specially, ane
aduyce concerning yone three noblemen f dilaitid and suspected of
* This refers to letter No. LII. "Your most affectionate sister and cousin, Eliza-
beth R," with all that follows, is in the queen's handwriting,
f The earls of Huntly, Errol, and Angus.
96 LETTERS OF
practising with Spaine ; and suirlie, madame, I cannot denye but
youre counsall in that maitter is most wyse and honorable, and if I
be richt rememberid, containis tuo speciall pointis ; the one, that if
they should ressaue any fauoure or benefit, thair confession of a faulte
in sum sorte most preceide, otherwayes it can naither be sure nor
honorable for me to bestou any benefit upon thaim; the other is,
that suche a sure and substantiouse ordowre shoulde be takin with
thaime, in kaice they should receaue any benefit, that not only I
micht see a suretie for the estait and religion in this countrey, by
thaire leaning and renouncing thair former profession and auouid
seruice, but, also, that all other forraine princes professing this
religion micht see a suretie for thaimselfis and thaire estaitis by
thaire deutyfull bahauioure in all tymes cumming. Now, madame,
I trust, if ye will consider quhat I haue done and ame to follou forth
in this turne, ye shall finde it als conformable to your counsall as the
state of this cace can permitt, for thay long since haue confessed tuo
faultis. First, thay confesse all three hearing messe and ressaitt of
jesuitts and seminarie preistis ; next, two of thaime, to witt, Angus
and Erroll, confessed thair blankis to haue bene directed to sundrie
forraine princes for crauing payment of suche debtis as thay alledge
to haue advancit to sundrie of the jesuitis that uaire into this cuntrey
and are gone bake againe, namelie, maister Williame Creichton, and
that, sen thay are into thair dominions, they may make thayme to
paye according to their promeis and deu debt I speake of thaise
tuo lordis only, in this point, because Huntlie constantlie denyis to
haue hadd any practising or dealing with any forrain nation since the
bridge of Die ; * for, allthoch, as he sayes, he subscryuid thais blankis,
yett nather waire thay directid to any suche end, as he alledgis, nor
yett was any other subscription at thaim quhen he subscryued
thaime, but that he ordained thaime to be directed to his oncle
maister James f his superioures, to testifie that his said oncle ualde
be compellid to depairt out of this cuntrey sooner than thay hadd
* A rebellious assembly at that spot in April 1589.
f James Gordon, a busy Scottish Jesuit.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 97
directid him to do, for fear of the straitness of my lauis, and that the
minesteris hadd maide him so odious as he durst remaine no longer,
and lykewayes recomending to them his said oncles pouertie, and
hou he hadd bene at so great expensis heir ; and sayes, that he hes
his oncles bakebande to shau, subscribed before honest witnessis of
barronis, that these blankis shoulde be employed to no other use ; in
the breake quhairof, he sayes, he was foullie abusid. But as to
their practising for bring in of Spanyardis, ather in this cuntrey or
in yours, that is the point quhiche thay all three utterlie deny, and
for the quhiche thay offer thaimselfis to all kynde of try all, so, as
for that part of your counsall, thay offer to satisfie so farr forth as
this thaire confession may auyle.
The doubt, then, resting onlie upon their not confessing of the great
cryme, I assemblit my estaitis to deliberat upon the suretie of the
estait and religion, quhiche being at length reasoned upon, it was
founde perrelouse to graunt thaim a tryall, in respect of thaire so
constant denying, and that the last parliament uent so neir the
clearing of thaim if it hadd bene putt to thaire votis, and thairfore,
[I conformed] uento the next pairt of your counsall, to see a suretie for
the estait and religion in tymes cumming, als uel by laying great and
sure bondis upon thaime, as the acte bearis, as lykeuayes, dyuers strait
conditiones, as, namelie, in kaice thay uiolat hearafter the least point
that by that acte is inioined unto them, in that cace the penaltie of
treason, and of that great cryme that they uaire delaitid of, shall
with all rigoure be executed upon thaim ; and in kaice thay accept
and observe the said acte, this great cryme and memorye thairof
to be abolishit, because of the uncertaintie and perrell to trye the
same. And thus are both the pairtis of your counsall, als farre as
the nature of that cace will permitt, in my opinion follouid.
For thaire acceptance of this acte, they haue to aduyse thaimselfis
betuixt [the present time] and the first of Januare, and quhill then, it
remainis as actum non actum, and having no strenth to work, and thair-
fore haue I dispatchit this present unto you, that, before the said day, I
may haue, als well your aduyce in this, quhiche is thocht meitest to be
CAMD. SOC. O
98 LETTERS OF
done for the suirtie of my estait, as also quhat suirtie ye wolde haue
prouydit for the pairt of you and your cuntrey, quhairin ye may
assure youreself I shall be als cairfull as for myself; praying you
not thinke that quhat I writt in this turne of thaire confession, I do
it as a thing that I will affirme to be certaine, but onlie as they
geue it out, and quhairof I am not able to proue the contraire by a lau.
And as to the contentis of your last letter of ereditt, I haue harde
the ereditt, containing tuo points ; the one this same purpose quhairof
I haue bene wryting, the other concerning yone lait attemptat of
Iddisdaille ; for the further satisfaction quhairof to both oure honouris,
because the attemptat was so haynouse, I haue causit deliuer to
youre uarden the principall offender himself, called Will Eliot.
Thus, fearing to offend you with too long a letter, in ueareing you
reid the same, and committing all other particularis to youre ambassa-
douris letteris, I committ you, madame and dearest sister, to the pro-
tection of the Allmichtie. From my palleis of Holyrudd house, the
vii. of December 1593.
Your most louing and affectionatt brother and cousin,
I must once againe pray you, madame, to haisten youre ansoure
before the first of Januarie, for the causis aboue specifeit, and, in the
mene tyme, not to trust any false reportis, but to thinke of me in the
olde manner, as I shall euer deserue at your hands.*
* The queen's answer is printed by Mr. Tytler as follows : — " My dear brother, To see
so much, I rue my sight, that views the evident spectacle of a seduced king, abusing coun-
cil, and wry-guided kingdom. My love to your good and hate of your ruin, breeds my
heedful regard of your surest safety. If I neglected you, I could wink at your worst; and
yet withstand my enemies' drifts. But be you persuaded by sisters[?]. I will advise you,
void of all guile, and will not stick to tell you, that if you tread the path you chuse, I will
pray for you, but leave you to your harms.
" I doubt whether shame or sorrow have had the upper hand when I read your last lines
to me. Who, of judgment that deemed me not simple, could suppose that any answers you
have writ me should satisfy, nay, enter into the opinion of any one not void of four senses,
leaving out the first.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 99
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
13TH APRIL, 1594. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 27.
Astonishment of James at the support given to his avowed traitor in
England — strong appeal to the queen on the subject — dissatisfaction
with lord Zouch£s conduct on his embassy — has sent an answer by
his own messengers.
In April 1594, in the midst of the troubles respecting the Roman catholic earls, the rest-
less and unscrupulous Bothwell made another attempt to regain his authority. Having
" Those of whom you have had so evident proof by their actual rebellion in the field, you
preserve, whose offers you knew then so large to foreign princes. And now, at last, when,
plainest of all, was taken the carrier himself, confessing all before many commissioners
and divers councellors; because you slacked the time till he was escaped, and now must
seem deny it (though all men knew it,) therefore, forsooth, no jury can be found for them.
May this blind me, that knows what a king's office were to do ? Abuse not yourself so
far. Indeed, when a weak bowing and a slack seat in government shall appear, then bold
spirits will stir the stern, and guide the ship to greatest wreck, and will take heart to
supply the failure.
" Assure yourself no greater peril can ever befal you, nor any king else, than to take for
payment evil accounts; for they deride such, and make their prey of their neglect.
There is no prince alive, but if he show fear or yielding, but he shall have tutors enough,
though he be out of minority. And when I remember what sore punishment those so lewd
traitors should have, then I read again, lest at first I mistook your mind ; but when the
reviewing granted my lecture true, Lord ! what wonder grew in me, that you should cor-
rect them with benefits, who deserve much severer correction. Could you please them
more than save their lives and make them shun the place they hate, where they are sure
that their just deserved haters dwell, and yet as much enjoy their honours and livelihoods
as if for sporting travel they were licensed to visit other countries ? Call you this a banishment
— to be rid of whom they fear, and go to such they love ? Now, when my eyes read more,
then smiled I to see how childish, foolish, and witless an excuse the best of either three
made you, turning their treasons' bills to artificers' reckonings with items for many ex-
penses, and lacked but one billet which they best deserved, an item for so much for the
cord whose office they best merited. Is it possible that you can swallow the taste of so
bitter a drug, more meet to purge you of them, than worthy for your kingly acceptance ?
I never heard a more deriding scorn; and vow that, if but this alone, were I you, they
should learn a short lesson.
100 LETTERS OP
received considerable support on the English borders, — not, as it is alleged, without the
connivance of lord Zouche, the English ambassador in Scotland, and the sanction of the
queen — he finally marched upon Edinburgh at the head of several hundred men. The
king, having early intelligence of the rebellious movement, gathered together a consider-
able force, and advanced to meet his enemy. Some little skirmishing took place, but
Bothwell, finding himself in the presence of a force too numerous to be withstood,
despaired of success, dispersed his men, and retired within the English border. In the
following letter the king indignantly calls upon the queen to account for the assistance
and shelter which Bothwell had received from England; applying to her the epithet
" seduced," which, in her last letter — that printed from Tytler's Scotland — she had used
in reference to himself. He also reminds her of his conduct when O'Rourke, the Irish
rebel, took refuge in Scotland, and hopes she will not reject his application and thus
drive him to say with Virgil, "flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo." This
letter was sent by Colvill laird of Wemyss and Edward Bruce the titular abbot of Kinloss.
So many unexpected wonders, madame and dearest sister, haue of
lait so ouer-shaddouid my eyes and mynde, and dazilde so all my
sensis, as in treuth I nather know quhat I shulde saye, nor quhair
at first to beginne : but, thinking it best to take a paterne of youre-
self, since I deale uith you, I must, repeatting the first uordis of your
last letter, only the sexe chaingid, saye, " I rew my sicht that veuis
" The best that I commend in your letter is, that I see your judgment too good to affirm
a truth of their speech, but that alone they so say. Howbeit, I muse how you can want
a law to such, as whose denial, if it were ever, could serve to save their lives whose treasons
are so plain ; as the messenger who would for his own sake not devise it, if for truth* s cause
he had it not in his charge : for who should ever be tried false, if his own denial might
save his life ? In princes' causes many circumstances yield a sufficient plea for such a
king as will have it known : and ministers they shall lack none, that will not themselves
gainsay it. Leave off such cloaks, therefore, I pray you; they will be found too thin to
save you from wetting. For your own sake play the king, and let your subjects see you
respect yourself, and neither to hide or to suffer danger and dishonour. And that you
may know my opinion, judgment, and advice, I have chosen this nobleman,* whom I
know wise, religious, and honest; to whom I pray you give full credit, as if myself were
with you : and bear with all my plainness, whose affection, if it were not more worthy
than so oft not followed, I would not have gone so far. But blame my love if it exceed
any [my ?] limits. Beseeching Grod to bless you from the advices of them that more prize
themselves than care for you, to whom I wish many years of reign." (Tytler's Scotland,
a Edward lord Zouche of Haryngworth.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 101
the euident spectacle of a seducit queue." * For quhen I enter be-
tuixt tuo extremitis in iuclgin of you, I hadd farr rathest intterprett
it to the least dishonoure on your part, quhich is ignorant erroure.
Appardone me, madame, for so long approued freindship requyris a
rounde plainness. For quhen, first, I consider quhat strange effectis
haue [of] laite appearid in your cuntrey; hou my auouid traitour
hath not only bene oppinlie resett in youre realme, but plainly maid
his recidence in your proper houses, euer plainliest kythith himself
quhaire greatest confluence of people uas ; and, quhiche is most of all,
hou he hath receaued Englishe monney in a reasonnable quantitie,
uaged both Englishe and Skottishe men thairwith, proclaimed his
paye at dyuerse parishe churches in England, conuenid his forcis
uithin England, in the sicht of all that border, and thairfrome con-
temptouslie cummid and campit within a myle of my principal! citie
and present abode, all his trumpettouris, and dyuerse wagid men,
being English ; and being by myself in person repulsit from that
place, returned bake in Englande with displayed banners, and since
that tyme, with sound of trumpet, making his troupis to muster
within Englishe ground : quhen, first, I saye, I consider this strainge
effectis, and then again I call to mynd, upon the one part, quhat
number of solemne promeises, not only by your ambassadouris but
by many lettirs of your owin hand, ye haue both maid and reiterate unto
me, that he sholde haue no harboure uithin your cuntrey, yea, rather
stirring me further up against him then seaming to pittie him your-
self, and, upon the other pairt, weying my desairtis [which] you knou,
for being a freind to you, I haue euer ben an enemie to all youre en-
nemies, and the onlie point I can be challengid in, that I take not
suche forme of order, and at suche tyme, with sum particulare men
of my subjectis as paraduenture ye could do if ye uaire in my roume ;
quhen thus I enter in consideration with my self, I cannot suirlie sa-
tisfie my self with uondring aneuch upon these aboue mentionatt
* See p. 98.
102 LETTERS OF
effectis ; for to affirm that these things are by your direction or pri-
uitie, it is so farr against all princelie honoure, as I protest I abhorre
the least thocht thairof. And againe, that so wyse and prouident a
prince, hauing so long and happelie gouernid, shoulde be so sylid and
contemnid by a great number of heir owin subjectis, it is hardly to
be beleuid : if I kneu it not to be a maxime in the state of princes,
that we see and heare all with the eyes and eares of others, and if
thise be deceaueris, we cannot shunn deceat. Now, madame, I haue
refuge to you at this tyme, as my only pilote to gyde me safelie
betuixt thir Charibdis and Silla. Solue thir doubtis, and lett it
be sene ye will not be abused by your owin subjectis, quho preferis
the satisfeing of their base-myndit affections to youre princelie
That I wrote not the ansoure of youre last lettirs with your laite
ambassadoure, and that I returnit not a letter with him, blame onlie,
I praye you, his owin behauioure ; quho, althocht it pleased you to
terme him wyse, religiouse, and honest, had bene fitter, in my opi-
nion, to carie the message [of] a heraut then any freindlie comission
betuixt tuo neichboure princes ; for, as no reason could satisfie him,
so skarcelie could he haue patience euer to heare it offerid. But if
ye gaue him^a lairge comission, I darr ansoure for it he tooke it als
well upon him, and thairfore haue I rather choosid to send you my
ansoure by my owin messingeris. Suffer me not, I praye you, to be
abusid with your abusairis, nor graunt.no ouersicht to ouersee your
owin honoure. Remember quhat ye promeisid by youre letter of
thankis for the deliuerie of O'Rorike. I trust ye will not putt me in
balance with suche a traitrouse counterpois, nor willfully reject me,
constraining me to saye with Uirgill, Flectere si nequeo superos, Ache-
And to giue you a proofe of the continouance of my honest affec-
tion, I haue directed these tuo gentlemen unto you, quhom I will
hairtelie praye you to credit as myself, in all that thay haue in
chairge to deliuer unto you ; and, because the principall of thaime
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 103
goes to France, to returne the other bake with a good ansoure with
all conuenient speede. And thus assuring you that friendship shall
neuer faill upon my pairt, I committ you, madame and dearest sister,
to the holy protection of the Allmichtie. From Edinburgh, the xiii.
of Apryle, 1594.
Your most louing and affectionatt brother and cousin,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN IN MAY 1594. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 18. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen notices James's allusion to her previous letter in his last —
replies to the imputation of having sheltered Bothwell — is indignant
at James's use of threats to her — warns him against receiving aid
The taunts and accusations in James's last letter aroused the " lion port " of his majes-
tic neighbour. Our historians, in ignorance of the following letter and its successor, have
supposed that Elizabeth took James's indignant appeal in good part, and was all smiles to
his ambassadors. The following must have convinced James that it was rather dangerous
to bandy words with her English majesty, or to make ambiguous quotations to her from
well known classics.
Thogh by the effectz, I sild see, my good brother, that euer my
aduisis be folowed, yet you haue whitsafed to giue them the reding
I wel understand, having made some of them the theme of your last,
thogh, God knowes, applied fur awry from ther true sence or right
desart ; for if I bin in abuse, I claime you the author of my deceat,
in beliving more good than the sequele hathe told me. For I haue
great wronge if you suppose that any perswation from whomsoeuer can
make me haue one iuel opinion of your actions, if themselues be not
the cause. I confes that diuers be the affections of many men, some
to one, some to another, but my rule of trust shal neuer faile me,
104 LETTERS OF
whan it is grounded, not on the sandes of euery mans humor, but on
the stedy rock of approued fact. I shuld condemne my wicked dis-
position to founde any amytie promised upon so tikel ground that
others hate might breake the boundz of my loue, and upon others
jugementz to bild my confidence. For Bodwelz bold and unruly
entrance into my bordars, I am so fur from gilt of suche a faulte, as
I protest if I had receaued an answer, in seuentene wekes space, of
my lettar that contained his offer to reveale unto you the treason of
the lordz with forennars, I could sone haue banished him from thens ;
and next, he came with your owne hand to warant that no offence
was imputed, wiche made the borderars readiar to receaue him ; but
after I had not left unpunist some of his receatars, I could not haue
beliued the durst haue procurid the pane due for suche desart, and
minde to make them affraid to ventur suche a crime agane ; and if
ordar giuen now to all the wardens do not suffice, I vowe ther bodies
and pursis shal wel suffar therfor.
I wil not troble you with recital of what this gentilman hathe hard
in all the other pointz, but this toucheth me so nere as I must an-
swer, that my desartz to you haue bine so sincere as shal neuer nide
a threte of hel to her that hathe euer procured your blis. And, that
you may knowe I am that prince that neuer can indure a menace at
my ennemys hand, muche les of one so dearly traictid, I wyl giue
you this bond, that affection and kind traictement shal euer preuaile,
but feare or doute shal neuer procure aught from me; and do
advowe, that if you do aught by forainers, wiche I knowe in ende
worst for yourselfe and country, hit shal be the worst aide that euer
king had, and I feare may make me do more than you wyl cal back
in haste. Deare brother, use suche a frende, therfor, as she is worthe
and giue her euer cause to remaine suche a one, as her affection
hathe euer merited, whos raschenes is no suche as neglect ther owne
so nere if the wil not forgo ther best and shun ther owne mishaps,
whom non can at my hand procure but your owne factz. Thus,
hoping that this bearar wyl tel you my faithful mening and sincere
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 105
professions, with al the rest that I haue committed to him, I leue
this skribling, besiching God euer more to preserue you.
Your most affectionate sistar and cousin,
To our good brother
the king of Skotts.
18 May, 1594.
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
5TH JUNE 1594. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 30.
Reply to the queen's last letter — James explains his meaning in the use
of the words "seduced queen" and in his quotation from Virgil —
if the queen still thinks him in fault he craves pardon — hopes she will
hasten the money she has promised him, and is delighted with a con-
ference she had ivith one of his ambassadors respecting him.
The following characteristic and amusing letter dispels all notion that Elizabeth
was in any degree overcome in this controversy by her pedantic correspondent. His
commentary upon the line of Virgil, and his supposition — " suppose I am Juno " — must
have called up a smile upon the now thin and withered lips of the English queen. James
had at last been driven into the determination to put down the Roman catholic earls by
force, and the money to which he alludes was a sum which Elizabeth had promised him,
provided he would rid the land of the leaders of the Spanish faction.
Because I persaue by youre last letter, and the report of my am-
bassadoure, madame and dearest sister, that ye haue farre mistaiken
the meaning of my last letter, I am forcitt to lett this present serue
for a short apologie thairof, for in two principall pointis I persaue ye
haue mistakin me. And first, quhairas ye interprete my imitation
of your uordes, in the beginning of my letter, to meane, that ye are
seducid by trusting false reportis maid of me, if ye please to consider
the follouing discourse of my letter, ye will finde I meanid, by sum
of youre owin subiectis, quho in resetting and assisting my auouid
CAMD. SOC. P
106 LETTERS OF
traitoure in dyuers pairts of your kingdome, without youre allouance
or priuetie, seducit you, in abusing youre princelie honoure and will ;
quhiche appearis to be butt ouer trew, since by youre owin letter ye
graunte and auowis to make thaime to be deulie punished for the
same. And suirlie, madame, it appearis your subjectis do not yett
uearie to abuse you, since, notwithstanding your laite proclamations,
he is still resett within your owin cuntrey. But in this I trust I
neide not to moue you, since the hurting of youre princelie honoure
by the contempt of your lawis, will, I doubt not, stirr you up to take
Nou the other point of mistaking is, of yone Latin uerse in the
hinder end of my letter, quhich I perceaue ye interprett to be a
threatning of you, but I doubt not ye uill conceaue farr otheruayes
of my meaning thayrby, if ye will [be] pleased to wey first the meaning
of the authore that first wrote it, and since consider quhat praceidis
and follouis in my letter that alledges it. For Virgill faineth that
Juno, being in a raage that the rest of the Goddis, throuch Uenus
persuacion, uolde not consent to the uraikke of Aneas, quhom
againis she baire ainveterate haitred, as against all Troye, she not
onlie pronounceth these uordis of my letter, but immediatly goes to
Alecto, one of the hellishe furies, and persuaidis her to stirre up Turnus
in Italie to uarre against Aneas, thairby to hinder his conquests thair.
Nou to make the allusion then. Suppose (omnis comparatio claudicat
uno pede,) I am Juno ; ye are the rest of the Goddis ; Bothuell is
Aneas ; and other forraine princes are Acheron. Junos seeking aide
of Acheron, than, was only for the urakke of Aneas, and no uayes
ather for the inuading or threatning of the rest of the Goddis. On
the other pairt, quhire this uerse is sett downe in my letter, I say,
not that I am of mynde so to do, butt, by the contraire, T saye I
trust you will not constraine me so to doe, and the uerrie next uordis
I subioine are, " and to giue you a proofe of my honest affection."
And thus, madame, my intention uas, to complaine unto you, not to
threattin you ; thairby seeking youre ayde, and nather seeking, nor
leaning to, the ayde of others. So, in a word, my prayer uas to you,
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 107
as ue all praye to Godd, Leade us not into temptation. But, as euer
it be, suppose in this, I interprett my intention, yett I euer baire
that reuerence to all uertuouse ladies, but aboue all to you, quhose
bloode, long and trustie freindshipp, and manifolde uertues, requyres
such louing and kynde reuerence of me, as I ame not so to stande in
my defence, but, if ye thinke it a faulte, I will craue pardon for it, and
onlie claime to my homelie rudeness, quhiche I hoape ye will accept
in the better pairt, since quhat I wrote of you I wrote only to you.
And thairfore, madame, I trust neuer to deserue the least thocht of
youre suspicion of any dealing of myne with youre ennemies ; for, I
protest before Godd, I neuer, to this houre, had dealing, directlie or
indirectlie, with any of thaime, ather to the preiudice of you, or
your state, or the state of religion, and ame content, besydis my
many by-past promesis, that this letter remaine a pledge of my faith
heirin, als uell for tymes to com as by-past, aye and quhill (as Godd
forbidd) I discharge my self honestlie unto you, quhich shall neuer
be, except ye constraine me unto it, but absit omen.
I also trust, that, before this tyme, youre ambassadoure has in-
formid you of sum of my proceidingis at this parliament, to your
satisfaction. As to the dispatche geuen to my ambassadouris,
quhairas ye are generall in tyme of payment and quantitie of the
support craued by thaime, yett I doubt not ye will considder my
present adoes, hauing nou begunn and entred in action ; quhairin I
craue an ansoure according to the proverbe qui cito dat bis dot.
That of one thing I will hairtlie pray you, that quhat heis done to
me in this turne ye do it onlie of youre selfe, that my thankis maye
onlie be fore you, for I desyre neuer to be in the common of any
subiectis in such cases.
And nou to end, I cannot omitt to shau you, that the only comfort
I receaued of your ansouris at the returne of the one of my ambassa-
douris, uas the prime conference ye hadd with Brus concerning me,
quho hathe maid suche discourse thairof to me, as in my opinion he
micht passe maister in the airt of chirurgie, for descryuing so well
the anatomie of your kynde and constante affection touardis me ; but,
108 LETTERS OF
assuring you that I shall neuer forgett to paye it with all thankefull-
nes on my pairt, I commit you, madame and dearest sister, to Goddis
most holy protection. From my palleis of Hole rud house, the fyft of
Your most louing and affectionate brother and cousin,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN ABOUT THE END OF OCTOBER 1594. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 25. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen rejoices that James is at length about to resist the catholic earls
in person — he may perceive what danger there is in glorifying too
high and too suddenly a boy of years and conduct — hopes he will give
his nobility an example never to combine with foreigners — praise of
the laird of Wemyss — intercession on behalf of the master of Gray —
sends money for "horse-meat?
Having raised an army against the Roman catholic earls, James committed it to the
command of his youthful favourite, the earl of Argyll, then only nineteen years of age. The
battle of Glenlivat ensued, in which Argyll was totally defeated, but with a loss which was
fatal to the conquerors. When the following letter was written, James was at the head of a
fresh army, marching northward to avenge the losses of Argyll — the " boy of years and
conduct " who is alluded to by Elizabeth. The master of Gray, for whose pardon she
intercedes, had passed the period which had elapsed since his disgrace in France.
My most deare brother, Thogh I wold haue wisched that your
sound counsels oft-giuen you, and my many lettars intercepted wiche
made to plain a shewe of that hye treason that to late you beliued,
might haue prevented your ouer great peril and to muche hazarde,
yet I rejoys with who is most gladlist, that at lengh (thogh I confes
almost to late) hit pleseth you so kingly and valiantly to resist with
your parson ther oulter-cuidant malignant attempt, in wiche you
haue honord your selfe, reioysed your frends, and confound, I
hope, your proud rebelz. You may see, my deare brother, what
danger it bredes a king to glorifie to hie and to soudanly a boy of
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 109
yeres and counduict, whos untimely age for discretion bredes rasche
consent to undesent actions. Suche speke or the way, and attempt
or the considar. The waight of a kingly state is of more poix than
the shalownis of a rasche yonge mans hed can waigh, therfor I trust
that the causeles zele that you haue borne the hed of this presump-
tion shal rather cary you to extirpe so ingratius a roote, in finding
so sowre fruite to springe of your many fauors ivel-acquited, rather
than to suffer your goodnis to be abused with his many skusis for
coulors of his good menings. Though at the first your carire was
not the best, yet I hope your stop will crowne all. If you now do
not cut of clerely any future hope to your nobilitie, through this ex-
ample, neuer to combine with forenars, or compact amonge them-
selues to your danger, I wowe to God you wyl neuer posses your
dignitie long. Wedes in fildes, if the be suffred, wil quickly ouer-
growe the corne, but subiectz, being dandeled, wil make ther owne
raignes, and for-let an other raigne. My affection to your surty
bredes my plannes, wiche I dout not but by your sower experience
you wil fully beliue hireafter, hauing so lately proued the sincerite
of my dealings. God so prosper me in my affaires as I maligne none
of your subiectz, nor euer wold exaggerat any matter but for your
seurty, whom I mind to take euer as great a care of as if only the
interest of my life and person consisted theron.
This gentelman, the lord of Wemes, I find a most careful subiect
of his prince, and one most curius to atcheue as muche as you com-
mitted to him, in wiche I dout not but I haue satisfied you in honor,
as time and comoditie serue, with wiche I wil not molest you more
than refer me to his declaration, with this only, that no one answer
to al but procideth from a most parfaict good affection toward you,
and so I desire, with most affection, that you interprete hit.
I must not omit, for concience sake, to speke a few wordz of the
mastar of Gray, with whom I haue had long discours, in wiche I find
him the most gridiest to do you acceptable seruise that I haue euer
hard any, and dothe lay none of his disgracis, banismentz, nor los, in
any part to you, but only to perswations of suche as ment his ruine,
110 LETTERS OF
and hopes, with his good indeuors, to merite your formar grace ; and
for my owne [part], I am nothing partiall to him for his particular, but
this I must confes, being as honest as he is sufficient, I thinke your
realme possesseth not his secound. I nowe speake upon my knowelege,
therfor lose not so good an instrument for your affaires, if you knowe
no more against him than I can lerne. You will pardon my auda-
cious writing, as one whos yeres teacheth more than her wit, neuer
ceasing to lift up my handes and hart with deuout [prayers] for
your most prosperous safe and sure succes in this voiage, for which
I haue sent you but to pay for hors-mete.
Your most affectionat louing sistar and cousin,
To my deere brother
the king of Scotland.
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
8TH JULY 1595. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 34.
James, surprised at the queen's long silence, sends an ambassador to ex-
plain his situation to her — his Spaniolised rebels have only fled in
order to return in greater strength — solicits her assistance against their
James's success against the Roman catholic earls was complete. Their strongholds were
destroyed, and themselves driven to seek safety in flight or in banishment. In the moment
of his success, a coolness ensued between Elizabeth and the Scottish monarch, upon the
subject of certain payments which he contended she had promised him. For nine months,
during all which time James acted manfully upon the policy Elizabeth advised, she never
wrote to him. James at length broke the long silence by the following application for
assistance against a fresh attempt which it was rumoured was about to be made by the
Since the returne of my secretarie from you, madame and dearest
sister, I haue patientlie abiddin the tryall of tyme to serue for a
proofe of my course by my actions, that thairby all cause of doubt-
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. Ill
ing being remouid, a commoun [danger] micht by a commoun assist-
ance be preuented. But, upon the one pairt, fynding you slower
herin then ather youre uill or your uowis do require of you, and, on
the other, imputting it to no lake of youre goode-will but of treu
information, I haue now, at last, maid choice of the bearare heirof,
my seruant, to informe you treulie of all these things ; as the fittest
messenger to informe you of the quhole progresse of my actions in
this great cause, since by him I did also aduertishe you of my first
proceiding thairin by lau. Surelie, madame, if it shall please you
to wey it, ye will finde that we both are but at a truce, and not at
peax, with the Romishe and Spanishe practices. These Spaniolizde
rebels of mine, that are fledd the cuntrey, are but retired to fetche
a greatter fairde[?], if thay maye ; and, beleue me, if any wolde per-
suade you otheruayes, thay but abuse you for thaire owin gaine, or
at least thinking it sufficient gaine to thaime to anoye quhome thay
haite. Hou can I uonder aneuch that ye, quho uas so uachfull for
my uell at the first breeding of thir practises, as ye neuer uearied
from tyme to tyme to foruairne me of my perrell, resenting it als
uiuelie as if it had bene your owin, should nou, in the uerrie heicht
of rypenesse thairof, be fallen in so lethargique a sleip, as ye are so
farr from ather aduertishing or aiding, that ye do not so much as
once [write] to enquyre quhat hath bene heir a-doing these nyne
monethis past ? But appardone me, I praye you, to complayne of
you to yourself; for use me as ye list, ye shall neuer shake [me] of,
by so many knottis ame I linkit unto you. Nather shall youre slow-
nesse quhyle past be able to blott out of my thankfull memorie youre
manyfolde proofes of kyndnesse shouin touardis me in all tymes past,
onlie I craue that ye remember ue haue a commoun enemie, and
that nou ue must ather concurre to holde thaime under our feet als
long as we are treading upon thaime, or ellis, if they gett layser
again, it will but learne thaime experience to wrestle the more cun-
ninglie the next tyme. I trust my pairt be nou past fieri, I praye
youe lett your assistance appeare nou in esse. But remitting the
more large discourse of all things to the bearare, quhome I pray you
112 LETTERS OF
fauourablie to heare and firmlie to trust, I comitt you, madame and
dearest sister, to the protection of the Allmichtie. From my pallais
of Falkelande, the viii. of Julie, 1595.
Your most louing and affectionat brother and cousin,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN IN JANUARY OR FEBRUARY 1595-6. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 17. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queer? s continual care for the common safety of both countries — she
does not mean to break her slumber on account of the malice of her
enemies — praises James's efforts with pen and sword -—recommenda-
tion of her ambassador.
The following letter alludes to preparations which were rumoured to be making in Spain,
for a renewal of the attempt to invade England. It also contains a studied commendation
of a charge to his subjects just published by king James. The charge thus alluded to
was a proclamation calling upon the Scottish people to unite with England to resist the
Spaniards — the common enemy of both nations. It was dated the 2nd January 1595.
See it in Calderwood, v. 389.
My deare brother, If the wracked state, and wel-ny ruined, of this
poore gentylman, through the faitheles trust of desceving servantz,
in looking every wike of the ending of his troubles, [had not occa-
sioned me to delay,] I could not haue left my pen so long dry, but
wold haue fild hit to you with matter ful of truthe, and memorialz of
my cares, wiche neuer ar at rest for your best avail, and ment to
warne you of suche occurrance as other nations afourd me ; spetially,
suche as might touche the safty of our countryes, and honors of
ourselves. Althogh I do not dout, as now I do perceaue, that you
shuld think them now overstate for newes, being by good espialz not
made ignorant of our ennemis driftz, whos skope haue ther boundz
while ether hues in raigne, but the ever-guidar of best actions, and
readiest ruinar of wicked actes, wyl, I doute not, coule ther heat, abate
ther pride, and confounde ther forse. I am not suche a wekely, nor
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 113
of so base a courage, that euer I mene breake one slombar for ther
malice, nor ons dreame of ther victoiri, whos ground-worke is of so
slippar foundation that the hold of suche edefice wyl be overturnd
with his owne gilt. I may not deny but Epimetheus is no compa-
nion for a king. With Prometheus, therfor, I mynd to folowe that
after wische condemne not for iugement, and therafter prepare suche
menes and power, that, I feare not, shal be so marshald as shal make
us no skorne to the world, nor delite to our foes ; in some suche sort
as I here you haue begone ; whos praise, if I shuld not lessene in
praising, I could more delate, but this muche I must tel you, that I
cannot imagin how you could by any more glorious menes set out your
care for your land, your loue to your neigbors, your hate to suche
wrongeful invadars, than with your pen and charge to your subiectz
you haue utterd, in wordz of suche effect and matter, of suche
waight, as, in honest dimars, hit may mar the facon of diuelische
machines,* and erase the hartz of treason-mynding men. In me,
hit hathe set a deape impression of a cousin-like zele, that myxith
not his los with her decay, and joyeth not that she shuld perische
first, in hope of bettar fare ; wiche, as hit is euer unsure, so sild is
hit not a winde-shaked blast. But your so spedy care for thretes,
that the may not arive to dedes, doth assure me that the shal haue no
just cause that shuld make suche a skruple. Receve, therfor, deare
brother, bothe my censare and my thankes therfor, as she that wyl
not suffar you to go one fote beyond her in busy inquiring and narow
serening what fitteth best for my counsel, or my warning for that
may conserne your safety or estate, as I haue charged this my em-
bassador to tel you more at length, as time and cause shal invite me,
not omitting to beseche you, that as I knowe him most obsequious
in aught that may conserne you, so hit wyl please you to shadow
him with your grace against the spiritz of suche as may fortune
envie him but shal never mache him. Thus I end my tedious
skribling, wiche you wil the rather pardon for to recompence the
* For " machinations."
CAMD. SOC. Q
114 LETTERS OF
long space that my writing hathe not spoken with you, praying the
euer-liuing God euer to preserue you from sinistar counsel, and al
good elz may euer befal you may prosper.
Your most affectionat sistar and cousin,
Receaued from Mr. Bowes
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
29th june 1596. copy in Thompson ms. p. 100.
The queen expresses astonishment that any difficulty should be made
about doing her right — shall a castle of hers be assailed by night and
the offender not be delivered up to her ? — she refuses to appoint com-
missioners in so clear a case.
This and the two following letters relate to an atchievement which has always been
regarded as one of the most daring and best managed of its kind. A well-known
borderer, named William Armstrong of Kinmont, or, as he was termed in song and
amongst the people, " Kinmont Willie," was unfairly made prisoner by the deputy of the
English warden, and was lodged in triumph in the castle of Carlisle. The Scottish
warden, sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, enraged at this infringement of border law, took
an oath that he would free the captive. With the aid of a few men as daring as himself,
and under favour of a dark and stormy night, Buccleuch and his little band scaled the
castle wall, surprised the sentries, forced their way with ploughshares and sledge hammers
into the inner prison, and mounting the captive upon the broad shoulders of Red Rowan,
" the starkest man in Teviotdale," bore him off in his irons. Elizabeth " stormed not
a little," says Spottiswood, at such an outrage, and insisted that Buccleuch should be
delivered into her hands. The Scotch people, mad with delight at an exploit which
reminded them of the days and deeds of Wallace, would have defended Buccleuch and
defied the queen,* but James after much ado procured the heroic culprit to be committed
to custody, and after a while he was given up to Elizabeth. His distinguished modern
* Birch's Mem. Eliz. ii. 25, 43, 111.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 115
namesake has informed us that the queen desired to see the gallant chieftain. He was
taken to court, and Elizabeth, darting upon him one of her most awful looks, asked
him, as he knelt at her feet, how he dared to storm one of her castles. Nothing
daunted, the gallant borderer replied, " What is there, madam, that a brave man dare not
do ? " Ever ready to admire courage, even in her enemies, the queen instantly exclaimed
to those who stood around her, " With a thousand such leaders, I could shake any throne
in Christendom ! "
My deare brother, I am to seake with what argument my letters
should be fraught, since such themes be given me as I am loth to
finde, and am slow to recite. Yet, since I needs must treate of, and
unwillingly receave, I cannot omitte to sett before you a to rare
example of a seduced king by a sinister councell. Was it ever seen
that a prince from his cradle preserved from the slaughter, help up
in royall dignitie, conserved from many treasons, maintained in all
sortes of kindenes, should remunerate with so harde a measure such
deare desarts ? With doubt to yealde a just treaties responce to a
lawfull frendes demaunde ? Ought it be put to a question whither
a king should doe another, his like, a right ? Or shoulde a councell
be demaunded their pleasure what he himselfe shoulde do ? Were
it in the nonage of the prince it might have some couler, but in a
fathers age it seameth strange, and I dare say without example.
I am sorry for the cause that constraines the speach, especially in
so apert a matter, whose note growes so farre, and is of that nature,
that it, I feare me, will more harme the wronger than the wronged.
For how little regard soever be healde of me, yet I should grieve to
much to see you neglect your selfe, whose honnor is touched in
suche degree as the English, whose regard I dought not but you
have in some esteame for ther good thoughts of you, will measure
your love by your deedes, not your wordes in your paper. Where-
fore, for fine, lett this suffice you, that I am as evill treated by
named frend as I could be by my knowen foe. Shall anie castle or
habitacle of myne be assailed by a night-larcyn, and shall not my
confederate send the offender to his due punisher ? Shall a frend
sticke at that demand that he ought rather to prevent ? The law of
kingely love would have sayde nay, and not, for perswation of suche
116 LETTERS OF
as never can nor will steed you, but dishonnor you, to keepe their
owne rule. Lay behynde you the due regard of me, and in it of
your selfe, who as long as you use this trade wil be thought not of
your selfe ought, but with conventions what they will.
For commissioners I will never graunt for an act that he cannot
deny that made ; for what so the cause be made, no cause should
have don that. And when you, with a better waighed judgement,
shall consider, I am sure my aunsweare shall be more honorable
and just, which I expect with most speede, as well for you as for my
self. For other doubtfull and littigious causes in our borders I uill
be ready to apointe comissioners, if I shall finde them needfull, but
for this matter, of so vilanous an usage, assure you I will never be
so aunswered as hearers shall need. In this and many other mat-
ters I require your trust in my ambassador, who faithfully will re-
torne them to me. Praying God for your safe keepinge,
Your loving sister and cousin,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN IN JULY 1596. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 102.
The queen reiterates her refusal to appoint commissioners to try whether
any subject of Scotland might take a prisoner out of her castle —
she requires the delivery of the offender for the reparation of her
My deere brother, The more I see your letters, reede your
answeare, and weye your resolutions, I ever rather impose the fault
on our ambassadors neglect, in not touching the materiall ground-
worke of this our unkindness, than can imagine that, for your owne
honour, thoughe all respect of us were debard, you should not weye
so the ballances awry as that a meane mans taking, whether right
or wrong, shold weye downe the poyse, that our treacherous castells
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 117
breake shold have no right redresse. Nether, if you understand it
aright, can we beleeve, that if all the counsell of Scotland wold tell
it you, they may cause you be persuaded, that commissioners should
need or ought trye whether any subject of yours shold take out of
any our holds a prisoner, however taken. And therefore, do not
beguyle your selfe, nor let them make you believe, that ever I will
put that to a tryall as a matter doubtfull. But for the truth to be
knowen of the first taking of that silly man, and divers other pointes
fallen out betuixt our wardens, I agree very willingly to such an
order, but lett the matter of greatest moment, wich is the malefact
of your Locrine, be first redrest. And*if such a treachery had bene
committed by a man that either ought for deere affection (won him
by his demerites), nay if not by such as whose deeds in publick
(whatsoever in private) hath well shewed his small regard of your
commands, I might have borne with your partiality ; but if you re-
member his former forgoing deeds, as well in your realme as with-
out, I shall need lesse to solicite my honour and his right. Where
you yeld that if such causes be not ever adjudged by such like man-
ner of commissioners you'l yeld to what censure of yours I shold
choose, I will lothely take such advantage. For yf you ever found
that it were put to tryall whither such a violent entrye were laufull,
or that the malefactor was not rendred, I will wage my credit of
that wager. And uhen you playnely nowe do see my true meaning
of repaire of honor, which so lately hath been blotted, and ho we no
desire of quarrelling for tryfles, nor backwardnes in faithfull affec-
tion, wich you never shall finde to quayle but your owne desart, I
hope at length you will postpose your newe advisers, and remember
her who never yet omitted any part that might concerne a most
faithfull frendshippes love. And for such one hold me still, that
whatever she hears, yea by your owne, will never trust but you, as
God best knowes ; whome I beseech inspyre you ever the best.
Your most affectionate sister,
118 LETTERS OP
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
17th august, 1596. copy in Thompson ms. p. 36.
The king understanding that the only thing the queen requires in
reference to BuccleucKs attempt, is the reparation of her honour,
wounded by the breach of her castle, has commanded Buccleuch into
ward, and requests to be further informed of her mind herein.
Madame and dearest sister, I perceaue by youre last letter that
the onlie thing ye stikke at concerning Bukleuchis attempt is, that
your honoure maye onlie be repaired thairin, and for all other quas-
tionable matteris, ye are content that with all expedition they may
be handeled by comissioneris. Suirlie, madame, my mistaking your
meaning quhill nou in that matter hath bene the cause of my so long
delaye to satisfie you thairin, for, in respect of your ambassadouris
first complainte in that matter, craving first fyling* and then deliuerie,
I coulde not but thinke, that, according to the custome euer ob-
serued in border causes, ane ordinarie forme of tryell behoued to
preceide ane ordinarie punishement ; but since I do nou finde it is
only your honoure ye respect * heirin, hurt by the breache of your
castell, suirlie, as I ualde be loathe to graunte to any iniquitie in the
forme [of] aequall justice or mutuall redresse betuixt oure tuo realmes,
so uill I be als loath, on the other pairt, to giue you cause to thinke
that any prince in Europe uolde be so cairfull to preserue your ho-
noure from all blemishe as I, without regarde to the appetit of
quhatsumeuer the best subiect in my lande. Both nearness of
bloode and thankefulnese bindes me so to do, and since I haue neuer
bene ather actoure or consentaire to your harme or dishonoure in any
sorte, I wolde be sorie to beginne so badlie at this tyme, and to giue
you sum proofe thairof, I haue without, yea rather aganes the ad-
uyce of any, comandit in uairde the partie quhomwith ye are
offendit, that it may be sene I will not allou of any thing that ye
* Accusation, indictment.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 119
micht interprete to be ane offence unto you, quhill I maye be farther
informed of your mynde herein ; quhich I pray you to haiste, toge-
ther with sum speedie and indelayed order for commissioneris, as I
wrote to you in my last. For I doubt not it greuis your conscience
to heare the smarte that the poor ones daylie receaues of all handis,
and this insolence of borderaris can neuer be stayed but by commis-
sioneris, quhairfore I once againe praye you to hasten thame, with
als few ceremonies as maye be, that all delaye may be escheuid.
And thus, praying you to excuse and take in good pairt my long de-
laye of satisfeing your honoure, quhiche I hartelie pray you to
impute to my mistaking, as I haue allreaddie declairid, I comitt you,
madame and dearest sister, to the protection of the Allmichtie, quho
motte still continue to giue you a victorious successe ouer all youre
enemies. From Dumfermling, the 17 of Auguste, 1596.
Your most louing and affectionate brother and cousin,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
5TH JANUARY 1596-7. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 104.
The queen mediates between the king and the members of the kirk, who
had over-audaciously made an attempt to remedy some injurious acts
tending, as they believed, to the overthrow of presbyterianism.
This letter has reference to an uproar which took place in Edinburgh on the 17th
December 1596. James had permitted the Roman catholic earls to return to Scotland,
and was endeavouring to bring about an arrangement for their partial restoration to their
estates and honours. The attempt excited the over-zealous leaders of the kirk beyond all
bounds of reason. The people adopted the feelings of their ministers, and outran their indis-
cretion. The king was alarmed by a seditious tumult which threatened danger to his
person. He quitted Edinburgh in indignation, removed the courts of justice, interdicted
his nobles from resorting to the rebellious city, and assembled at Falkland an army of
Highlanders and Borderers, with whom he threatened to take summary vengeance. The
citizens, startled and terrified at the unwonted vigour of their offended sovereign, armed
themselves and barricaded their houses, against the expected attack; and the last news
120 LETTERS OE
which Elizabeth could have received when she wrote the following letter was, that James
had ordered the leading ministers to be arrested, and was himself advancing to take
military possession of his capital. The additional rumour perhaps had reached her, that the
ancient city was to be delivered up to the mercy of the southern thieves, under the com-
mand of that very Kinmont Willie whose capture had occasioned the storming of the
castle of Carlisle by Scott of Buccleuch. James entered Edinburgh with his military
guard on the 1st January, 1596-7. The provost and leading citizens made a submission
on their knees. James inflicted a long harangue upon them, and made use of the
advantage which he had gained over the too-impetuous kirk, to effect the introduction of
various important alterations in ecclesiastical government.
My deare brother, Yf a rare accident and an ill welcome newes
had not broken my long silence, I had not now used my penes-
speach, being to carefull of your quiet, and myndfull of your safetie,
to omitt the expressing of both, by letting you knowe howe un-
tymely I take this new-begone frensie, that may urge you to take
such a course as may bring into opinion the verefying of such
sclaunder as you have vowed to me to be farre from your thought.
In this sort I meane it. Some members of the church, with their
companies, have over-audaciously imboldned themselves to redresse
some injurious acts that they feared might overthrow their profession,
wich though I graunt no king for the manner ought beare the same,
yet at the instant, when the newe-come banished lords be returned,
and they seen, wincked at, without restraint, and spring growing on,
when promised succour was attended, together with many lettres
from Rome and elsewhere sent abroad to tell the names of men
authorised from you (as they say, though I hope falsely) to assure
your conformitie, as tyme may serve you, to establish the dangerous
partie and fayle your owne. I wayle in unfayned sort that any just
cause should be given you to call in doubt so disguised an act, and
hope that you will so trye out this cause as that it harme not to you,
though it ruyne them. You may of this be sure, that if you make
your strength of so sandy a foundation as to call to your ayd such
ayders as be not of your flock, whenas the one syde be foolish, rash,
headlong, and brainesick, yet such as most defend you for them-
selves, having no sure anchorage if you fayle them, and the other
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 121
who have other props to sustayne them though they lack you, yea
such as thogh your private love to their persons may inveagle your
eyes not to pierce to deep into their treason, yet it is well knowen
what their many petitions for foreine ayd might have intended, to
your perrill and countries wrack, for seldome comes a stronger to a
weaker soyle that thralls not the possessor, or dangers at last. I trust
you think no lesse, or else they must justify themselves to con-
demme you, for without your displeasure not feared for such a fact,
no answere can sheild them from blame. Now to utter you my
folly in being busy in others affayres, I suppose you will not mislike,
since the source of all is care of your good, with desyre that nought
be done that may imbolden the enemy, decrease your love, and en-
danger your surety. This is, in summe, the fyne whereto I tend, and
God I beseech to direct your hart in such sort as you please not
your worst subjects, but make all knowe in a measure what is fitt
for them, and make difference betwene error and malice. So God
blesse you with a true thought of
Your most affectionat sister, that means your best,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
4TH JANUARY 1597-8. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 106.
The queen calls James to account, in the angriest and most passionate
manner, for some words said to be spoken by him in his parliament,
respecting her. She has sent Bowes to him for an explanation.
The particular words which occasioned the following indignant letter have not been
found. The parliament alluded to assembled at Edinburgh on the 13th December
1597. The Bowes who is mentioned as the bearer of this letter was sir William. Robert
Bowes, who passed so many years of his life in Scotland as the English ambassador
resident in that country, died at Berwick, and was buried there on the 16th December pre-
ceding the date of this letter.
When the first blast of a strange vnvsed and sild hard-of sounde
CAMD. SOC. R
122 LETTEKS OF
had pearsed my ears, I supposed that flyeing fame, who with swift
quills ofte paseth with the worst, had brought report of some un-
trothe ; but when to to many records in your open parliament were
witnesses of such pronounced wordes, not more to my disgrace than
to your dishonor, who did forgett that (above all other regarde) a
princes word ought utter naught of any, much less of a king, than
such as to which truthe might say, " Amen." But * your neglecting
all care of yourself, (what danger of reproche, besydes somewhat els,
might light uppon [you]), you have chosen so unseemly a theame to
charge your only carefull friend withall, of such matter as (were yow
not amased in all senses) could not have been expected at your hands; of
such imagined vntruthes as never were once thought of in our tyme.
I doe wonder what evyll spiritts have possest you, to set forthe so
infamous devyses, void of any shewe of trothe. I am sorry that you
have so wilfully falen from your best stay, and will needs throwe
your self into the hurlpole of bottomles discreditt. Was the hast soe
great to hye to such oprobry, as that you would pronounce a never-
thought-of action afore you had but asked the question of her that
best could tell it ? I see well wee two be of very different natures,
for I vowe to God I would not corrupt my tonge with an vnknowen
report of the greatest foe I have, muche lesse could I detract my
best-deserving freinde with a spott so fowle as scarsly may ever be
outraised. Could you roote the desire of giftes of your subjects
vppon no better grounde than this quagmire, wich to passe you
scarcely may, without the slyppe of your own disgrace ? Shall im-
bassage be sent to forayne princes laden with instrucons of your
raishe advised charge ? I assure you the travaile of your creased
words shall passe the boundes of to many landes, with an imputation
of suche levytie, as when the true sonnshine of my sincere dealing
and extraordinary care ever for your safety and honor shall over-
shade to farr the dymme and mystie clowdes of false invectyves.
I never jet loved you so little as not to moane your infamous
* In the sense of "besides."
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 123
dealynges wich you are in mynde. We see that my self shall
possesse more princes wytness of my causeless injuries, which I
could have wished had passed no seas, to testefy such memorials of
your wronges. Bethink you of suche dealinges, and set your labour
uppon such mends as best may. Though not right, yet salve some
peece of this over-slypp. And be assured, that you deale with such
a kinge as will beare no wronges and indure [no] infamy. The
examples have ben so lately seen as they can hardly be forgotten, of
a farr mightier and potenter prince than many Europe hathe. Looke
you not therefore that without large amends I may or will slupper-
up such indignities. We have sent this bearer, Bowes, whome you
may safely credit, to signifie such particularities as fits not a leters
talk. And so I recomend you to a better mynde and more advysed
conclusions. Praying God to guide you for your best, and delyver
you from synister advise, as descryeth*
Your more redyer sister than your self
hathe done, for that is fitt,
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
WRITTEN IN FEBRUARY, 1597-8. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 60.
James replies to Elizabeth's accusations against him contained in her last
passionate letter, which he had already answered to sir William Bowes
— he sends to her the abbot of Kinloss.
This letter is James's reply to No. LXIV. The following extract from Tytler's Scot-
land affords a partial illustration of the subject which had excited the anger of the queen;
but the historian had not seen the letter we have just printed. " On the arrival of sir W.
Bowes at the Scottish court he found the king's mind entirely occupied by one great sub-
ject — his title to the English throne after the death of the queen. f . . From his obser-
vations the ambassador dreaded that the royal mind was beginning to be alienated from
England; and in his first interview James certainly expressed himself with some bitterness
* This obscure conclusion is printed as it stands in our MS.
124 LETTERS OF
against Elizabeth. The expostulations addressed to him by his good sister, he said, were
unnecessarily sharp. She accused him of diminished friendliness, of foreign predilections,
of credulity and forwardness ; but he must retort these epithets, for he had found her
too ready to believe what was untrue, and to condemn him unheard. It was true that
when he saw other competitors for the crown of England endeavouring, in every way,
to advance their own titles, and even making personal applications to the queen, he had
begun to think it time to look to his just claim, and to interest his friends in his behalf.
It was with this view he had required assistance from his people to furnish ambassadors to
various foreign powers. This surely he was entitled to do : but any thing which had been
reported of him beyond this was false; and his desire to entertain all kindly offices with
his good sister of England continued as strong as it had been during his whole life."
(ix. 276-8.) Besides the verbal reply given to sir William Bowes, James sent Edward
Bruce of Kinloss to Elizabeth with the following written answer.
Madame and dearest sister, Althoch I hadd sufficientlie purged to
youre laite ambassadoure, sir William Bowis, the calumniouse and
untreu reportis that came to youre eares of me, yett I coulde not sa-
tisfey myself without sending one of my owin unto you, als uell to
informe you more amplie of the treuth thairof, as to turne ouer most
justlie on youre selfe that ouer-hastie credulitie quhiche in your letter
ye laye so sharpelie to my charge. No farther will I ansoure parti- '
cularlie to your letter, since it becommes me not to stryue with a
ladie, especiallie- in that airt quhairin thaire sexe moste excellis ; but,
beleue me, I take not unkyndelie your passionate letter, both because
it uas but preuelie written to my self, as lykeuayes because I per-
ceaue sparkis of loue to shyne throuch the middest of the thiccest
clouddis of passion that ar thaire sett doun. And, indeede, I must
confesse, if I had any wayes bene guiltie of that quhairuith ye
charged me, I hadd deserued uorse at your hande then so kynde and
homelie a reproofe as it uas, althoch it was bitter ; but amantium
irce amoris redintegratio, quhiche makes me to truste that the fruitis
of our contesting shall be sweet, althoch the buddis thairof wairre
soure. And, for my pairt, I am onlie to continue with you in that
olde contention of honest amitie, for quhiche effect I haue sent unto
you my ambassadour, the abbot of Kinlosse, quhom I hairtelie pray
you fauourabli to heare and truste, as one for quhose honestie and
plainnes I will be ansourable. And thus, with my earnest prayeris
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 125
to the Allmiehtie for your prosperitie, I hairtelie praye you, madame
and dearest sister, euer to make fall aceompte of me, as of
Youre most louing and affectionate brother and cousin,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
1ST JULY 1598. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 128.
. The queen assures James that she is not of so viperous a nature as to
suppose, or have a thought, that he is guilty of an offence charged
This and the three following letters relate to an accusation brought against James by a
person named Valentine Thomas. Being in custody for theft, this miscreant took upon him
to charge James with a design against the life of Elizabeth. Very jealous of his feme in a
matter in which he was clearly guiltless, and apprehensive lest political malice might revive
the false charge against him during some future possible struggle for the throne of England,
James was anxious that his innocency should be made apparent by some producible
documentary evidence. Elizabeth on her part seems to have thought that James was
rather unnecessarily sensitive upon the subject. The date of the present letter is derived
from Tytler's Scotland, ix. 440. A copy of it exists in the State Paper Office.
My deere brother, Suppose not that my silence hathe any other
roote then hatinge to make an argument of my writing to you that
should molest you or trouble me, being most desirous that no
mention might once be made of so villanous an act, especially that
might but in word touche a sacred persone. But nowe I see that
so lavishly it hath ben used [by the] aucthor thereof, that I can
refraine no longer to make you partaker thereof sincerely, from the
beginning to this hower, of all that hath proceded. And for more
speed have sent charge with Bowes, to utter all without fraud or
guile, assuring you that fewe things have displeased me more since
our first amities. And charge you in Gods name to belyve, that I
am not of so viperous a nature to suppose or have thereof a thought
126 LETTERS OF
against you, but shall make the deviser have his desert, more for
that then ought els. Referring my self to the true trust of this
gentleman, to whome I beseeche you giue fall affiance in all he shall
assure you on my behalf. And so God I beseech to prosper you
with all his graces, as dothe desire,
Your most affectionat syster.
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
WRITTEN IN JULY OR AUGUST 1598. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 48.
The king has sent an ambassador to inform the queen what he wishes to
be done for the clearing of his honour in reference to the slanders
raised by a base villain — wishes all his dealings respecting her were
written in a book laid open before her.
Madame and dearest sister, I haue nou, according to my promeise
in my other letter, directted unto you the bearer heirof, my seruande,
quhomby ye shall be informed, quhat I craue for clearing my
honoure anent these sklanders quhiche that base uillaine hath raised
upon me ; quhairin I doubte not but youre honoure and loue to-
wardis me will moue you not to see me innocentlie wronged. The
particulars heirof I will not trouble you with by longsume letter, but
remittis thaime to his declaration, together with sindrie other things
quhairwith I ame falselie charged, as God shall juge me. For, on
my honoure, I wolde wishe that all the direct or indirect dealings
that ever I hadde, that micht concerne your persone or state, waire
in a booke laid oppen before you, and then you woulde see, that no
subject of Englande hath kept himself cleerer of any guilty [thought]
against you then I haue done, euer since I was borne.
I haue lykewayes commandit him to dealle with you in dyuerse
other things, quhairin I also praye you to giue him a fauorable eare
and truste. As for this foule attempt upon the bordouris, quhairof
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 127
I latelie wrote unto you, I doubte nothing of the equitie of your
judgement in kaice ye be treulie informed, but I knou youre officers
on that bordure will make the faulte to seeme unto you als small
and licht as they can ; but consider thaye are pairties, and determine
according to richt. And thus, madame and dearest sister, I recom-
mende you to the tuition of the Allmichtie.
Your most louing and affectionate brother and cousin,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
26TH DECEMBER 1598. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 109.
The queen has signed a patent respecting James's innocency of the accusa-
tion of Valentine Thomas, which he might have asked of many kings in
vain — she sends him a new-year's gift of good advice.
The argument of my letter, my deare brother, if it should have
the theame that your messengers late embassade did cheeflye treate
of, would yeld suche a terror to my hand that my pen should scarce
afford a right ortographie to the words it wrote. Unnaming there-
fore what it was, it may suffice that you nor other king ever mett
with a better mynde nor a rarer intent, wich hath bene well as fulle
uttered, by my signature to such a graunt as I suppose you might
have asked of manie kings and lackt such a furniture. But I for-
thinke it not, with a trust that in all other matters that may concerne
my self or state we shall be rightlye aunswered with equall care and
unfayned kindness. In this you shall strengthen yourself and
render me my dewe. The best newe years guifte that I can geve
you for this cominge year shall be, that in your greatest causes you
heede well from what spirits the counsells that you will followe do
come, and God send you his grace to make a trewe scantlin betwix
what is pretended and ment. And judge a-rightly twixt what
seems may be your best, and that must needs be in deede. So shall
128 LETTERS OF
you never do ought that may indanger yourself with thought to do
you good, nor wrong your best friend that means you but good and
yet will not abyde a wronge. And for your own dominions, I wish
you guide them so as no innovators mar the fasshion of your old
governmente. Diseases there be in showe not dangerous, but in con-
tinuance perillous. Thus will I end, with this request, that you
[consider] the mind of the giver, not the meanesse of the guifte,
which proceedeth from her that desireth of God a good grant to
these my wishes.
Your most affectionate sister and cousin,
This gentleman, I assure you, hathe acquitted himself very faith-
fully [and] discreetlye in his charge.
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
WRITTEN PROBABLY EARLY IN 1599. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 40.
The king states a variety of objections to a patent sent him by queen
Elizabeth in vindication of his honour from the foul accusation of
Valentine Thomas, and craves a further declaration of his innocence.
Madame and dearest sister, Since the returne of my seruante
Foulis, I faunde my self uncessantlie prikked by the lawe of that
honest freindshippe quhiche I beare unto you, to haisten unto you,
hou soone my laiser micht any wayes permitte me, the treu pour-
traite of my thochtis upon that ansoure to my most juste petitiones
quhiche it pleased you, by the handis of [my] saide seruante, to re-
turne unto me.
The ground of my requeste was, to be freed of that, as untreu as
uyle, imputation and calumnie, layd against me by so infamouse a
uillaine, seduced thairto ather by his owin self-loue, seeking thairby
the farthest-of thoch most detestable death, or ellis by my malicious
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 129
thoch undeseruid haitteres. Not that I ment, or neid it, to craue to
be made clear of any suche treacherouse attempts, quhairof indeed
I euer was most cleare, but that my effectual innocencie micht be
maid knouin, quhiche nou maye in sum measure be obscurid by
murmuring surmyses flouing from this filthie spring. But, as for
the meanis for attaining to the same, I remitte you to youre owin
memorie quhat choice and diuersitie of thaime I maid to be proponed
unto you, and in ende relayed my cheifest suretie thairin upon
youre owin deuyce, quhiche out of youre owin uisdome, tempered
with youre kyndest loue touardis me, I looked ye woulde fynde out.
But nou, quhen I haue rypelie considerit and weyed, in the iuste
ballances of a reasonable and unpassionate judgement, the true force
and pith of youre ansoure, I must plainly confesse, except I wolde
faine with you, quhiche is the foulest erroure that in a mutual freind-
ship can be comitted, that I cannot finde, in any pointe thairof, any
thing neir to my iuste satisfaction. For, first, in your patent, the
narration thairin declaires it to be onlie obtained by importunitie, and
the conclusion thairof to be rather ane allouance of your owin goode
conceipte that it hath pleased you to take of me, then any ac-
knouledgement of my many good and honorable deserts at youre
hande. And quhairas ye declare thairin, that ye oucht to giue ac-
counte of any of your actiones to no mortall creature, I knou very
well that it becummis none that enjoies suche places as we both doe,
ather to giue accompte or be judgit by any, and thairfore, as I neuer
thocht to craue the one, so think I neuer to submitte myself in the
other. So that, quhairas my expectation uas, that by your patent
ye sholde haue declairid, that, as by the lawis of all nations, the
bare and single alledgeance of so infamouse and base a uillaine, cold
bring foorthe no bleamishe to the honoure and fame of one of my
ranke and calling, so had youre experience of my kynde and honest
behauioure touardis you at all tymes, justlie preserued you from
harbouring in youre hairte the least iotte of suspicion of me, in such
a cace ; quhairwith, as ye restit fullie persuadit within youreself, so
wished ye all to quhose knouledge that patent uolde cum, to rest in
CAMD. SOC. S
130 LETTEKS OF
that full assurance of my honourable innocence quhiche the goode
lawis of all nations, and the proofe of my by-paste behauioure, wolde
in all reason obtaine of thaime. I can, by the contrarie, collecte
nothing of your patent, but, as the graunte theirof seemis to be
thrauin out by importunitie, and not uillinglie obteained by good
uill, so by the delaiting of the uertuouse merites of your owin
inclination, and of youre manifolde benefites bestowid upon me, the
substance thairof seeming rather to tende to the agrauating of my
ingratitud, in kace I uaire guiltie, then to the clearing of my inno-
cence, since nather your uertuouse inclination in judging others by
the measure of youre owin qualities, nor yet youre owin knouledge of
your good deserts touardis me, can carie any forther proofe then
quhat of reason I should doe, but not quhat indeid I haue done ;
otheruayes all uertuouse and innocent personnis uolde euer be as
free from the perrill of ressauing as deserving any causeles iniuries.
And next, quhairas I craued, that by some acte or statute, order
micht be geuin for the cancelling and razing of any thing in his
indytement or deposition that micht concerne me, that, as I assure
myself, ye putt no doubt in your owin hairte of my innocence, so ye
micht thairby remoue all occasions quhairby I micht be calumniated
at any time hearafter, I haue onlie ressaued a coppie of his indyte-
ment and a generall summe of his depositions ; a fauour quhiche by
no law coulde be refused to [the] caitife himself at his leding out to
the execution. And as for the omission of my name out of the indyte-
ment, quiche notuithstanding containes the specialities of the alleadgit
practises, and place quhaire the same was deuysed, quhiche is fullie
relatiue to his depositions quhairin my name is plainelie mentionated,
I can thinke it no greater grace then that my name is (for the facon)
skraiped out of the texte but well retained in the glosse or comen-
tarie. He is indyted for practising according to his owin confesion,
and in the same confession, by quhiche means only this practise is
reuealed, I ame plainlie named and accusid.
And for ansoure to my last petition, quhairin I craued, that if my
satisfaction could not presentlie be agreed upon, the persone of the
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 131
catife micht at least be detained unexecuted quhill sum more sure
and honorable waye of his tr jail and my clearing micht be found out,
ye haue only, into the middest of a priui letter written to your agent,
maid him a generall promeise thairin, as long as ye shall finde me
contineu in my goode behauioure touardis you.
Thus farr haue I thocht goode treulie and honestlie to communi-
cate my mynde unto you concerning your laite ansoure, quhiche I
proteste is no uayes done for building up groundis of miscontente*
ment thairby, but only least ye should deceaue yourself, in thinking
me, if I had remained sylent, satisfeid with your ansoure ; for as a
prince, it becummis me not to faine, and as youre freind, I uaire
faultie if I should dissemble. My requeste, then, is onlie that ye
wolde patiently and grauelie consider upon the pramissis, and lete
me by youre directt ansoure be resolued, if, in your judgement, you
thinke my petitions reasonable; and since the grounde of my requeste
is only that ye uolde help, not to cleare me of this false and filthie
calumnie, but only to declaire me to be the thing I ame indeid,
vouchsafe then, by some honorable meanis, to giue me onlie that
quhiche of myself I fullie doe possesse, persuading to the worlde to
beleue that quhich in your owin concience and knouledge ye are
surelie persuadit of. Considder, it is craued by him quho hath euer
bene your most constant freinde, quho neuer at any time did so
much as once conceale anithing that micht import the harme of your
persone or state, and that the graunting my requeste will tende
as well to the honoure of the graunter as the crauer. And thus,
crauing pardon for my faschouse long samnes, and rude plainnes, as
proceiding from a honeste and frindlie hairt, I comitt you, madame
and dearest sister, to [the] tuition of the Allmichtie.
Your most louing and affectionate brother and cousin,
132 LETTERS OP
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
WRITTEN EARLY IN SEPTEMBER 1600. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 51.
^Thanks to the queen for congratulations upon James's escape from a late
treacherous practise — answer to the charge of having prepared the
queen's funeral — also to the accusation of intending to sell his son to
On the 5th August 1600, occurred that memorable incident in the life of James and
in the history of Scotland, the outbreak of the Gowrie conspiracy. Elizabeth sent sir Henry
Bruncker to congratulate James upon his escape, but she was excited against the Scottish
monarch at the time, by the discovery that he had been in correspondence with Essex, and
united with her congratulation an accusation that he had been accessory to the preparation
of her funeral, "long," she continued, "ere, I suppose, their laboure shall be needful."
In the same letter, or in the instructions to her ambassador, she also taunted the Scottish
sovereign with his reported intention to " sell his son to the pope " — a strange accusation,
which had its origin in a proposal, certainly made by an agent of James, that prince Henry
should be brought up in the Roman catholic faith. (Tytler's Scotland, ix. 394.) The
following letter contains James's answer to these manifold accusations.
Madame and dearest sister, As by youre cairfull and most suddaine
dispatche of this honorable gentleman, youre familiare and trustie
seruand, for congratnling with me for my laite unexpected escape
from so treacherouse a practise, ye haue geuen a most euident and
honorable proofe of the continuance of your cairfull and sinceare loue
towardis me, so can I do no more but by penn to assure you of my
thankefulnes, quhill it please God to offer sum occasion that by
effectis I maye more uifely expresse it unto you. In this I can saye
no more, but, as in this office of kyndnes touardis me, ye haue farre
praueined all other kings my confederatis, so haue ye justlie aquyred
the first place of loue in my hairt before thaime all. And that ye
may haue the more maitter to praise God for my saiftie, I haue
particularlie, out of my owin mouth, acquainted youre ambassadoure
with the quhole circumstances of that odiouse facte.
And quhairas ye appeare to charge me with the prepairing un-
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 133
tymouslie of your funerallis, I cannot aneuch uonder, that, notwith-
standing both of the uprichtnes of my meaning, and that long since I
haue oftentymes geuen you full satisfaction in that point, youre earis
shoulde yett be so oppen to such as goes about, by all the meanis
they can, to burie and abolishe, by the force of lyes and calumnies,
that happie amitie standing betuixt us ; as appearis well by suche
uyle and false reportis quhairwith I perseaue they doe daylie fill
your earis. But as for purging me of all these surmyses, I will
onlie repeate my former attestations of my euer upricht and honest
course in all that concernid your person or state, meriting more faith
then all thair knauishe pratling ; so wold I, on the other pairt, wishe
you to be that farr acquainted with my disposition, that I neuer har-
boured suche base thochtis as, for any respectis that can be imagined,
to sell the smallest pairt of my cuntrey, muche lesse my sonne, to
any pope or prince in the worlde. No ! I neuer thocht so baselie, as
that ather myself, or my sonnis person, or education, shoulde be in
the reuerence of any pope, king, or queen liuing. For, althoch I
thanke God I be in friendship with all the christiane princes in
Europe, yett my dealing with any of thaime shall, uith Goddis
grace, be so honorable, as I shall neuer neid to be ashamed thairof.
But, hauing particularlie made ansoure to youre ambassadour upon
euerie particulaire heade of this false imputations, I remitte me to his
report thairin, wishing at God that ye waire as farre upon all the
secreate counsayles of my hairt towardis you as myself is. And
thus, fearing to uearie you with my raggit scribling, I comitte you,
madame and dearest sister, to the tuition of the Almichtie.
Your most louing brother and cousin,
134 LETTERS OF
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN IN APRIL 1601. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 110.
The queen 's anxiety to know what were the griefs which occasioned him
to send the bearers to her as ambassadors- they have all been
answered two years ago — warns him against underhand dealing
with her subjects — a bird of the air will utter the matter to an honest
James's anxiety in reference to the succession to the English throne increased with
every year's increase of Elizabeth's age and infirmities. He omitted no opportunity of
sending some of his principal servants to the English court rather as spies than ambassa-
dors, and when excuses for embassies were long in coming he invented or imagined them
rather than lose the advantages to be derived from the maturing of his prospective plans.
The present embassy was one of the latter kind. The earl of Mar and the abbot of Kin-
loss were the messengers — the " well-chosen couple," as they are termed by Elizabeth in
the following letter. The avowed objects of their mission may be gathered from the next
succeeding letter; their private instructions may be read in Hailes's Secret Correspond-
ence of Cecil, p. 9. Mr. Tytler has also fully detailed the whole circumstances in his
History of Scotland, ix. 373.
My good brother, At the first readinge of your letter, albeit I
wondred muche what springs your grieves might have of any of my
actions, who knowes my self most clear of any just cause to breed
you any annoy, yet I was well lightned of my marvayle when you
dealt so kinglye with me, not to let them harbour in your brest, but
were contented to send me so well a chosen couple, that might utter
and receave what you meane, and what I should relate. And when
my greedy will to knowe dyd sturre me, at first accesse, to requyre
an ease with speed of such matters, I found by them, that the
pryncypall causes were the self same in part that the lord of
Kynlosse had two yeares past and more imparted to me, to whome,
and to others your mynisters, I am sure I have given so good
satisfaction in honor and reasone, as, if your other greater matters
have not made them forgotten, yow your selfe will not deny them.
But not willing in my letters to molest you with that wich they
will not but tell you (as I hope), together with such true and
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 135
guylelesse profession of my sincere affection to you as you shall never
have just reason to dobt my clearnesse in your behalfe, yet this I
must tell you, that as I marvayle much to haue suche a subject that
wolde impart so great a cause to yow afore ever making me pryvy
thereof, so doth my affectionat amytie to you clayme at your hands
that my ignorance of subjects boldness be not augmented by your
silence ; by whom you may be sure you shall never obtaine so muche
good as my good dealing can aford you.
Let not shades deceave you, wich may take away best substance
from you, when they can turne but to dust or smoake. An
upright demeanor beares ever more poyse than all disguysed shewes
of good can doe. Remember, that a byrd of the ayre, if no other
instrument, to an honest king shall stand in stead of many fayned
practyses, to utter aught may any wyse touche hym. And so I
leave my scrybles, with my best wyshes that you skane what works
becometh best a king, and what in end will best avayle him.
Your most loving sister, that longs to see
you deale as kyndly as I meane,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
30TH APRIL 1601. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 112.
Official answer to the matters treated of by the Scottish ambassadors —
Essex's rebellion — Valentine Thomas — Eure's case — Ashfield — lands
claimed by James.
This is the official answer sent to James on the return of the earl of Mar and the abbot
of Kinloss. Of the matters mentioned in it, the first is the rebellion unius diei, that of
the earl of Essex. Some historians have been of opinion that James was deeply impli-
cated in Essex's foolish scheme, and was to have been raised to the throne by its success.
Mr. Tytler supposes that the mission of these gentlemen to Elizabeth was one of interces-
sion for Essex, If so they defeated their object by their tardiness. They left Scotland
with a suite of nearly forty persons about the middle of February, 1600-1. They reached
London on the 6th March. They were admitted to their first interview with the
136 LETTEKS OF
queen on the 22nd March. Essex was executed on the 25th February. Sir William
Eure and sir Edmund Ashfield were both imprisoned for holding secret communication
with the king of Scotland upon the subject of the succession. The lands alluded to
were those of Margaret countess of Lennox, James's paternal grandmother, who died on
the 10th March, 1577-8.
Right highe, &c. Being it hath ben at all tymes a great content-
ment to us to receave from you demonstration of the contynuance or
increase of your good will, you need not doubt but your kind letters
presented by this personages of honour and integryty are so much
the more gratefull.
And where they have congratulated us from you [on] our happy pre-
vention of the late treasonable attemptats, the suppressyon whereof,
praised be God, fell out to be only opus unius diei, wee do accept in
very good part that kind office from you, and requytt you with this
good wyshe, that the lyke may either never befall you or at least be
as easely past over ; that being utterly extinguished in twelve hours
wich was in hatching dyverse years.
It is also very wellcome to us, and at [all] tymes shalbe, that you,
invyted as you wryte by our example and by the obligation of true
kindnesse, do use playnesse in opening unto us any thing that lyeth
in your hart. But why at this tyme the same is used as a meane to
obtaine the curing <}f some wound (as your letter doth insynuat), wee
do not well understande. For, in the examination of all our actions
towards yow, wee do not find that any thing hath passed from us
that may be construed for a wounde, except the same language of
playnesse, which yourself do well affirme to be an undisseverable
companyon of true freindshippe, do change habytt when it cometh
from us and not from others ; with which contradiction if we may
knowe your mind to be posessed, and that our franke and reall
dealling hath (out of your owne apprehencyon) strooken deeper than
we entended, or bredd any other conceipt in your mynde then in his
own nature the syncere and mutuall expressing of each others
thoughts should doe betwene true freinds, wee will from henceforth
be more reserved ; as being one who, nether in deed nor in worde,
either have or meane to vyolate our former just and affectionate
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 137
profession. But now to come to other particulars of your embassa-
dors negotiations. We have gyven them an attenty ve and pacyent
hearing, not only because all persons recommended to us from you
shall styll receave such measure, but also because we knowe them
to be of more constant affection towards the common freindshippe of
our kingdomes then others, who have not spared often for pryvat
respect to runn many courses, whereby they haue adventured your
honour and given advantage to our common adversaries. And yet
we must thus playnly tell you, that they have not fayled to use
playne and seryous dealings with us and with our counsell, in things
wich, in their owne nature, wee thinke doth not well sort with the
outward parte of their embassay ; having been so often and so justly
answered, as were it not to confirme that they have not omited any
part of their charge, we would not have troubled either you or our-
selfs at this tyme with any repeticyon.
For first, to the matter of Valentine Thomas. We have often
sayed the same wich we have nowe againe made playne to them,
that whatsoever hath ben forborne to be done against him hath ben
meerely done by us in your favour, because wee would not styre
anewe that matter wich nowe lyeth deadd, and cannot be revyved
without some scandall howe unjust soever. Next, we must styll say,
that what your owne ministers wyshe nowe to be done therein, for
your further satisfaction, hath ben done in effect allready to your
servant Fowles at his last departure.
For Euers case, for whome your embassadors have also dealt,
wee fynd that you are as subject as others are to wry reports ; for
when he was sent for — his owne governor knowes it — wee had other
cause that moved us ; though true it is when he was but accidentally
demaunded howe he found you dysposed in the matter of the
pledges (for which he sayd he went to speake with the lord of Rox-
buroughe) he made such an impudent denyall, or rather an abjura-
tion, of his ever seeing or speaking with you, as theruppon we deny
not but we grewe jalous that he might have had some ill designe in
his goeing, thoughe no way incoraged by you whatsoever. So as in
oamd. soc. t
138 LETTEKS OF
this case wee apeale to your self, howe you wold have proceded
yf the case had ben your owne, as nowe it is meerly ours.
And thirdly, touching Ayshfeld. As we have don nothing in his
case but what the soveraigne authorytie of all princes doth justefye,
and the lawes of our border specyally provyde, that there be no
passing or repassing of the subjects of either realme without lycence
of the wardens, so doe wee think it strange that you do not better
dycern of the merytt of persons who seecke accesse to you, then to
esteme yourselfe in that respect interested in their good or evyll
usage, who, out of their owne humour and busy natures, going be-
yond the duty of subjects, seeke to shelter themselves against the
danger of their owne crimes by making you a cause, and so a party
to their disgraces; wich, for example sake, though for no other
respect, all prynces-soveraigne ought to be wary to take uppon
them, least in favouring the undutyfull doings of others subjects
they open evyll wayes to their owne. As for his taking out of your
contry, it was utterly without our pry vity, and done only by our
governor of Barwycke to redeeme his owne eror; but being don, and
the partie fallen into our hands, wee hadd no reason to omytt the
occasion to chastyse so lewd a caytyffe.
Lastly, touching your desire to have some lands where the title
remaines yet undecided, we will speak shortly to you, that wee
found that of all things most strange, consyddering howe well ye
have dycerned our disposition therein heretofore, that any such de-
maund shoulde be renewed, since your selfe cannot be ignorant that
some consequences wich depende therupon hath made us forbare to
dispose of it one way or other. All which considered, seeing you
professe so clear a desyre to remove all scruples, wee hope to heare
no more of any of this matters, which are so unworthy of our dis-
putte, who have and do resolve to nourishe and performe all
princely correspondency, which can be by nothing more desgraced
then when our comon adversaryes shall see, that when newe causes
rise not, old and by-passed scruples are revyved.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 139
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
WRITTEN IN NOVEMBER 1601. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 56.
Letter of recommendation of the duke of Lennox, who was visiting the
court of England on his return from France to Scotland.
The bearer of the following letter was Lodowiok Stewart, duke of Lennox, son of Esme
Stewart duke of Lennox, first cousin of the king and one of his early favourites. His
present visit to England, at the moment of a meeting of the parliament in which it was
thought some steps would be taken respecting the succession, was in that respect not at
all agreeable to Elizabeth. The principal object of his mission was no doubt to watch
over James's interests, and especially to communicate with the Roman catholics, and
endeavour to predispose them in favour of his master's succession.
My dearest sister, I must by these few lyries presume, rather in a
homelie than princelie maner and uithout all ceremonis, to recom-
mende the bearare heirof unto you, and as I haue allreadie great
cause to thanke you for your so louing and readie graunt of a most
fauourable pasport unto him, so doe I most hartelie praye you to lett
him finde youre goode countenance, since the greatest earands he
hath to cum that uaye, is to haue the honoure to kise youre hande.
And althouch I did not doubte of your owin curtesie in this pointe,
yett I doe assure myself it will not be the less gratiouse for my
requeste. And since ye haue nou occasion to speake with him, being
upon his returne from the dischargin of his comission in France, I
shall be uerrie well contentid that ye examine him, in a secreate and
familiar forme, of his proceadings thair, and quhat uas his direction,
that ye maye finde by proofe, according to my promeise, that I shall
neuer haue dealing in any pairte of the worlde quhiche maye in any
sorte tende to youre prejudice ; but, by the contraire, shall euer be
cairfull to procure the prosperous continuance of your suretie, and
will, as farre as shall lye in my poueir, as I hoape shortly to giue
youe some proofe, in some particulates that my cousin, the bearare
heirof, uill informe you in, quhairby my honestie, I hoape, shall the
140 LETTERS OF
better appeare. And thus, with my hairtelie prayeris to the Allmichtie
for your tuition, I uill put an ende to these my raggit lynes scribledd
Your most louing and affectionate brother,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
2ND DECEMBER 1601. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 116.
Thxmks for letters received by Foulis and the duke of Lennox, and for
offers of service against the Spaniards in Ireland — great praise of
the duke of Lennox.
My dear brother, Never were there yet prince nor meaner wight
to whose gratefull turnes I did not correspond, in keeping them in
memory to their avayle and my owne honor. So trust I that you
will not doupt but that your last letters by Fowles and the duke are
so acceptably taken as my thanks cannot be lacking for the same,
but yelds them you in thankfall sort. And albeit I suppose I shall
not neede to trouble any of your subjects in my service, yet,
according to your request, I shall use the liberty of your noble offer,
if it shall be requisite.
And whereas your faithfall and deare duke hath at large dys-
coursed with me, as of his owne knowledge, what faithfull affection
you beare me, and hath aded the leave he hath receaved from you
to proffer himself for the parformer of my service in Ireland, with
any such as may best please me under his charge, I thinke my selfe
greatly indebted unto you for your so tender care of my prosperitie,
and have told him that I wold be lothe to venture his person into
perillous service, since I see he is such one that you make so great
a reckoning of, but that some of meaner quality, of whom there were
lesse losse, might in that case be ventured. And sure, dere brother,
in my judgment, for this short acquaintance that I have had of him,
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 141
you do not prise with better cause any nere unto you, for I protest,
without fayning or doubling, I never give eares to greater lawde
then such as I have heard him pronounce of you, with humble
desyre that I wold banishe from mynde any evill opinion or doupt
of your sincerity to me. And because, thoughe I knowe it was but
duty, yet wher such shewe appeares in myndfull place I hold it
worthy regard, and am not so wycked to conceale it from you, that
you may thanke your self for such a choyse. And thus much shall
suffice, for feare to molest your eyes with my scrybling, committing
you to the enjoying of best thoughts and good consideration of your
carefull frend, wich I suppose to be
Your most affectionate sister,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
WRITTEN IN DECEMBER 1601. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 118.
Thanks for offers of men for the service of the queen in Ireland, and
also for punishing persons who supplied the rebels in that country with
provisions — tidings of the destruction of the invaders hourly expected.
The following letter relates to the great rebellion of Tyrone, who, aided by a body of
Spanish auxiliaries, was able for a time to set at defiance the power of Elizabeth and the
military skill of her deputy lord Mountjoy. James offered to send to Elizabeth's aid a
body of his Highlanders; but it was reserved for a more glorious occasion, and a more
worthy cause, to give England, for the first time, the benefit and the protection which she
has since so often derived from the daring valour of those hardy mountaineers.
That it pleased you, my deer brother, to sturr up my memory to
consyder howe needfull speed is in so greate a cause as requyres a
present service of your subjectts if any wee will have, and that you
already make choice of some captains and hedds of such troupes as
if I like I may use, surely I fynd myselfe greatly indebted unto you
for such heedfull care of what might concerne my service, and thinke
142 LETTERS OF
many thankes very shorte to aunswere such desert. But that paper
cannot includde, that my thankfull hart shall ever acnowledge to you ;
not omytting the readynes that now you shewe to the fynding and
punishing of such, as, contrary to your often promyses and their often
commands, have furnished our traytours with their foode and all such
things as might fortify their rebellion. And although nowe, when
it is very late, for having done their worst already, yet never can it
be out of season to have them smart that so dishonored you and
wronged us, for which we will not omitt our thankfullne*ss, and
takes it in kynd manner. And thoughe wee doe howerly expect
some favorable wynde that will blowe to our ears some such tydings
of their ruyne, that contrary to honor, conscience, or cause, hath thus
outragiously assayled us, yet in meane while we have communicatted
to your good sarvant Mr. Fowles particularly our mynde herein,
tyll we can send you more, which with all speed wee meane to doe,
when wee shall heare from thence. And tyll then, wee leave to
trouble you with more lynes, but do remayne
Your very affectionate sister,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
3RD FEBRUARY 1601-2. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 119.
Further thanks for offers of assistance in Ireland — rumours of a Spanish
army destined for England — " I nothing fear though they came"
My very good brother, Though matter I have longe to lengthen
my letter, yet you must beare with fewe lynes, dryven thereto by an
evill accydent of my arme, and yet my memorie shall never be short
to kepe in mynde your ready kindnesse, which the offer of your
subjects servyce made me knowe, together with the care and spede
that [you shewed] therein, as also the good warning you gave me
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 143
of a supposed army from Spaine for England ; wich though I no-
thing feare though they came, as nothing doupting but their speede
should be as shamefull to them as the precedent hath been ; yet my
thanks for your care, together with your good counsell, not to
neglect such a malice, bynding me to conceave that you wold be
loathe that any disaster should arryve to her that yet (God be
praysed) never tasted of any. And thus I end to trouble you
longer, with mynde to byde
Your affectionate sister,
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
WRITTEN AFTER JULY 1602. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 64.
Particulars of James's communication with the ambassador and king
of France respecting a proposed league of France, England and
Scotland against Spain, with request for the advice of Elizabeth.
I am a little doubtful as to the order in which this and the following letter should be
placed. Calderwood says that the French ambassador alluded to arrived in Scotland
about the end of July 1602. (vi. 158, Wodrow edition.)
Madame, my dearest sister, I hadde not so long delayed my
hande-wryte to haue witnessit my thankfullnes, as well for your
louing and kynde letter, as for youre fauorable and speedie dispatche
of my seruant Ashton, if I had not stayed till I had first soundit the
Frenshe ambassadouris mynde in that purpose quhairof I urote to
you in my last. . Quhomby I haue in deid receaued a letter of his
maisteris owin hande, affirming and ratifying thairby all these parti-
culate promeises, and offers of freindshippe, quhiche he had mouit
my ambassadoure to acquainte me with before ; and to this effecte
his ambassadoure had freely promeised his maisteris assistance, ather
unto me in speciall against the Spaniarde, in case Spaine shall happen
to make inuasion upon my kingdome, or otheruayes to assiste you,
quhairin he nothing doubtis of my concurrance, in case the said
144 LETTERS OF
Spaniarde shall follow forthe his inuasion upon Yrelande, or any
other of youre dominions ; using these wordis in conclusion, that all-
thoch the king his maister uolde not directlie querrell with the king of
Spaine, upon the discovery of these laite practises, but use him in the
lyke fashion as he did him, yett uolde he not spaire to giue him a
grounde to querrell with him, for assisting any of his freinds and
confaderatis against him.
As yett I haue done nothing, but harde all, and ame to beginne
nou to uork heirin, pracysely according to your most graue and
uyse aduyce geuin in youre last letter, and, as it shall succede, ye
shall from tyme to tyme be aduertished ; praying you to richte me
so farre in your reposing upon my confidence unto you, that, as in this,
so uill I deale with no frende of youris in any other matter that can
concerne you, without your aduyce ; and as for youre ennemies, I
shall neuer haue any dealing with thaim at all, quhairin ye shall not
be acquainted with the least iotte thairof. For I trust God hath not
so skaircely bestowid his graces upon me, as that I shoulde not be
able to discerne betuixt the only waye that leads to my uell-doing
and safetie, and the ineuitable gulfe of my shippeurakke ; as I haue
uerrie lately geuen you some proofe, by that aduertishement of
Spanishe intentions quhiche I informed youre agent to make you
acquainted with ; quhiche I durst not reserue to be inserted in this
letter since modica mora maye be daingerouse in maitters of suche
moment, and thairfore my earnist desyre is, that quheneuir ye shall
heare reportis of any dealing of myne, in quhatsumeuer sorte, with
any of youre ennemies, ye shall judge thaime to be* falsely and
maliciously contrayued, excepte ye heare thaime uarrandit from my
self, quho shall constantly remaine
Your most louing and assurit brother and cousin,
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 145
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
WRITTEN AFTER JULY 1602. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 46.
Gratification received from the queen's last letter — excuses of the French
ambassador for delay of his master's answer — communication made
to James by Francis Mowbray from the archduke and the king of
Spain — the queen is James's only oracle — his gratitude because she
will not have any dealing with the sister of persons who are regarded
by him with indignation.
The letter from Elizabeth alluded to in the beginning of the following is clearly that
which is mentioned by Tytler, ix. 396, and there said to have been dated on the 4th July
1 602. The lady alluded to in the postscript was probably Beatrice Ruthven, sister of the earl
of Growrie and of Alexander Ruthven. She was one of queen Anne's maids of honour,
but was banished on the occurrence of the Growrie conspiracy.
Madame, my dearest sister, Immediatlie after the wrytting of my
Iaste unto you, I ressaued your letter, quhiche hath so pauchtid * my
hairte with contentment, as nather my tongue nor my penne is able
to expresse. That ye accepte in so goode pairt my honest intention
I thinke myself more happie than if I hadde wonne the golden flece.
I doe not wonder that the Frenche resident thaire hath nothing
touchid that string that I wrote of unto you, since he that is heir hes
neuer as yett ressaued, as he sayes, any ansoure from his maister to
my proposition ; excussing himself that it was long before he coulde
gett his paequette transported by sea, for laike of pansinger shippes.
Alluayes he puttis me still in full hoape that my aduyce will be
uillinglie embraced by his maister. As euer it be, the ansoure shall
no sooner cum to me, but it shall rinne post unto you ; and as for
your seacretie, your long happie gouuerment hath given tuo great a
proofe thairof to the worlde that I shoulde neide to make any doubte
thairof, and for your prayer in the end of your letter, it is indeid the
greatest proofe ye can giue me of the integritie of your affection to-
CAMD. SOC. U
146 LETTERS OF
uardis me. I pray God that I maye haue no occasion to studdie upon
the paraphrase of that texte.
And nou I must not conceale from you, that presently before the
wrytting of this letter, Francie Moubraye, for quhose sending with
his pairtie unto me I render you most ynfinite and hartie thankis,* he
did seacreatly send me wurde, the Archduike comandit him, in most
priuat mainer, to giue me full assurance both of the king of Spaines
freindshippe and of his ; and for proofe thairof, it uas by thaime put
in my choice, quhither I wolde haue a direct ambassadoure, or a
priuate man indirectlie, presentlie to repaire unto me, quho shoulde
more particularlie confirme this message of his unto me, and bring
me fall assurance of thaire affection. To this I will make no ansoure
quhill I heare from you, quho, I proteste to God, shall euer be my
only oracle in all such caces. And thairfore, since it is my good for-
tune to be tyed in straite freindshippe with so uyse a prince and
trustie a freinde, I will hearafter, at all occasions, wryte in this sorte,
pryuatelie, unto you, without the knouledge of any of my counsaill ;
no, not my owin secretarie. The ansoure quhairof maye euer be
safelie and seacreatlie conuoyed by youre owin agent, in quhose
paquette I will also sende my letters, as I doe this. For if euer I
runne a course with any prince liuing, quhairin ye shall not be my
only oracle, I pray God to punishe me as a parjuride parricide. But
noue I doe infinitlie comfort myselfe that ye haue the contrarie
proofe and assurance of
Your most louing brother and cousin,
Youre honorable integritie and princely disposion in trew loue to-
uardis me, hath shyned so brichtly in making your agent aquente
me with youre resolution, not to haue any dealing with her quhose
brothers are justlie noted with infamie and with my indignation, as, I
* Francis Mowbray, a son of the laird of Barniebougle, was accused of a design to
assassinate the king of Scotland. He was arrested in London and sent into Scotland by
order of Elizabeth. He died of a fall in attempting to make his escape out of Edinburgh
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 147
protest in Goddis presents, the admirable recorde thairof shall neuer
weare out of my graitfull hairte. And as I shall euer accounte it the
trew patterne of a princelie and heroicall mynde, as lykewayes of a
most faithfull freinde, so shall I neuer spaire to straine all the faculties
of my soule to giue you profe at eurie occasion of a faithfull corre-
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
12TH OCTOBER, 1602. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 38.
The king requests that a Scotsman, an offender against the border laws,
seized by the English warden within the Scottish territories, may be
delivered up to him, in order that he may be duly tried and punished
if found guilty by due process of border law.
Richt excellent richt heich and mightie princesse, our dearest
sister and cousine, In oure hartyest maner we recommend us unto
you. We shoulde be sorrie to importune at this tyme your wechtye
occupations with a subject so unworthy e, both of your care and of
our pen, wer it not that such small begynings do bread eftsoons
no small enormities betuixt the marches, and that your wardone, the
lord Scroope, quho hes already acquented you with the circumstances
of the fact, hath put that matter in your hands. It is, of treuth, the
fellowe apprehendit is oure borne subject, tain be your officiaris
direction within the ground of Scotland, albeit his opposite* did alwayes
offer to make him answerable, at quhatsumeuer day of trewf he
should appoint to that effect. His failzie, both in this and in the
other two befoir, as it hath bene more in the forme nor in the sub-
stance, (and thairin his zeale to the repeasing of fugitiues and lym-
meries ouer-reuled his regard of the guide ordure prescrivit in sae
casis by the treaties,) so hes it left sum sparkis of grudge and clashis
* That is, the opposite warden of the Scottish marches.
•j* Day of truce, in which border complaints were determined by the wardens.
148 LETTERS OF
betuixt him and his opposite, to the encouragement of theves and
male factors at that hand, to quhom thair former guide intelligence
wes no small terrour. For the remouing quhairof we do requeist
you most effectuusly, that be your warrand to your said officiare, the
criminale deteanit be him may be put in our handis, to underly his
tryell and dew punisment, as he prouis giltye ; quilk as it is, in
treuth, oure ferme intention to do with him, so will we pray you to
be persuadit that his delyuerie is craued be us for no releiff nor be-
nefite to such a villane, bott only that justice may be ministrate upon
him be our auctoritie, and thareby your said officiares intention may
be effected, and he relevit of the grudge and rankor quhilk micht
remaine in the hartis of his opposites affected to the partie, gif, being
taiken in such a forme, he should be forcit to undergo the judgement
of his lyfe before the author of his taking, and be execute by his
auctoritie ; quilk we haue wellit your seruand, George Nicolsoun, to
schaw you more amplie by his lettre. And for the eschewing of the
lyke ocasion in tyme cuming, it will please you to giue command to
your said warden, quhen any such cace shall ocure, to conforme him
thairin to the ordour prescriuit be the treate, in sending his com-
plaint to his opposite, quhom we haue willet to giue him upricht
correspondence in all gude offices, to the furtherance of justice and
redresse. Quhairin, gif thare be any failzie on his pairt, lett your
warden be assuritt so soone as we shall know it be his letters,
oure present officiar shall ay ther do him reasson, or shall giue owir his
charge to another that will more willinglie performe it. And thus,
expecting heirin your fauorable resolution, richt excellent richt heich
and michtie princesse, our dearest sister and cousine, we comit you
in the protection of the Almightie God. From Dumfreis, the 1 2. of
Your most louing and affectionatte brother and cousin,
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 149
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
WRITTEN PROBABLY ON 12TH OCTOBER, 1602. COPY JN THOMPSON MS. P. 53.
The queen is informed of proposals made by James to the French am-
bassador in reference to the suggested league of France, England, and
Scotland against Spain — an d, also, of underhand proposals made to
him, by Spain for a marriage between prince Henry and the infanta.
I presume the allusion in the postscript of this letter is to the one just printed, and there-
fore assign it the place in which it is inserted. There is no doubt that it was written
about the autumn of 1602. James, in anticipation of the speedy close of Elizabeth's
reign, was endeavouring to strengthen himself by foreign alliances, the nature of which has
been a little mistaken by our best historians. They are fully explained in the present and
some subsequent letters. The French ambassador who is here alluded to was the baron
Madame my dearest sister, Hairing laitely enterid more deeply
with the Frenche ambassadoure, in that porpose quhairof I wrote
unto you in my last, I haue thocht goode, according to my promeise,
to make you acquainted with the particulars thairof. Taking occa-
sion of the franke offers of freindshippe, quhiche, in his maisteris
name, at his first audience, he maid unto me, I prayed him to repre-
sente to the king his maisters judgement, the boundles and insatiable
ambition of Spaine, and hou it appeared that God, in his deuyne
prouidence, had ordained us three — I meane the princes of this yle
joined with his maister — to be a brasen wall, or bullwork, for resist-
ing to his prsesumption. I wished him to consider, hou the Span-
niarde did alyke greedily gaape for your dominions and the king his
maisters ; and if so it came to passe, God knowis hou well I wolde
be fitted with suche a neichboure. Finally, I did remember him of
his owin wordis allreadye utterid in his maisteris name unto me,
quhiche was, that althoch his maistter wolde not breake peace with
Spaine for his owin particulaire, notwithstanding of his laite disco-
uerie of the Spanishe practises, yett he wolde not spaire to doe it for
assistance of his freindlie neibouris against his injuste inuasions ; and
150 LETTERS OF
thairfore, I wished him to laye these things before his maisteris uyse
consideration, showing him planly that I thocht the onlie sure reme-
die for preuenting of these euills uolde be, that, as of olde thaire was
a ligue offensiue and defensiae betuixt France and my croune
against Englande, that so thaire shoulde one nou be maid betuixt us
three against Spaine. And if the king his maister did lyke of this
course, my opinion was, that by his ambassadoure it shoulde be pro-
poned unto you, mouing you to take me in for a thridde marrow in
that gham ; * otherwayes, for my part, I wolde no waye medle thairin.
He faithfully promeised to aduertishe the king his maister fully heirof,
and did generally assure me, that his maister wold willinglye em-
brace that aduyce. And thairfore, if the Frenche ambassadour
thaire breake any thing of that purpose unto you, I haue sufficiently
foruarned you. I remitte it to youre wisdome hou to ansoure him,
and to make me acquainted withe your mynde in quhat sorte you
will haue me to proceede further herin.
And now, hauing this occasion of uryting, I uill not also omitte
to informe you, that I ame uerrie lately aduertished of great offers
that are to be sent unto me from the king of Spaine, and in speciall,
the marriage of his dauhter with my oldest sonn, and dyuerse other
greate conditions ; joyned with this threatning, that, if I shall not
accepte thaime, he is allreaddie sure of a peace with Englande,
quhiche, upon my refusall, he will prosecute, hauing allready all the
counsall of Englande at his deuotion. But, as I deeplie mistruste
his sirene songs, so maye ye be sure that hou soone that message
shall be brocht unto me, ye shall with all dilligence be faithfully ad-
uertished thairof, praying you euer so to assure youreself of me, as
of him quho, in all his actions, shall constantlie remaine,
Youre most louing and assurit brother and cousin,
I wolde be loathe to troubbill your earis with so unworthye a
* That is, a third companion, or partner, in that game.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 151
subject as my other leter dois containe, if it uaire not for the dis-
quyetness that I know it will breede upon the borders ; my intention
not being any wayes for spairing of suche villains, but only that
euery goode turne maye be richtlie done, and by thaime quhome to
it doth properlie belong.
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
WRITTEN IN THE AUTUMN OF 1602. COPT IN THOMPSON MS. P. 62.
Substance of a communication received from the king of France, upon
which James wished to have the queen's advice — account also of sir
James Lindsays mission from the pope to James to warn him of an
English conspiracy against his life, and to request him to send prince
Henry to Rome to be educated — James's reception of Lindsay.
Madame and dearest sister, Upon the returne of the ansoure to
the Frenche ambassadoure from the king his maister, I haue taken
occasion, for the performance of my promeises in my letter by Aston,
to poste this present unto you. The substance of the said kings an-
soure is, that he doth so uillingly embrace, and so fully lyke, that
ouuerture quhiche I maid to his ambassadoure, as he is onlie sorrie
that he was not the first propounder thairof to me ; that he shall
presentlie employe his ambassadoure resident with you to propounde
that maitter unto you ; that he also thinkes it expedient that the
states of the Low Cuntreys be joyned with us three in this league ;
and that, as I haue so prouidently putte the maitter it self in heade,
so wolde he be glaidde to haue, as quicklie as micht be, my aduice,
quhat particular articles and groundis shoulde be contained in the
saide league. I am nou thairfore to expecte your ansoure, in quhat
sorte I shall further proceide heirin, accounting myself infinitelie
happie to haue so noble, so uyse, and so faithfull a freinde, by quhose
counsail I maye and euer shall be directed in all my most importante
152 LETTERS OF
I haue, lykeuayes, thocht goode heirby to informe you, that sir
James Lindesaye is lately arriued heir, uith directions, as he sayeth,
from the pope unto me. His quhole message consisteth of tuo
pointes. The first is, to foreuarne me of a practise against my life
intendit by England, these are his uerrie termes, quhiche he said he
wolde not conceale from me, in regairde of the honorable report he
hath made * of my goode inclination to pietie and justice, thoch I be
not of his profession in religion. The other point is, a requeste, that
I wolde sende my oldest sonne ather to Rome, or any other pairt be-
yonde seas, quhaire he micht be catholikilie noorished, and that he
uolde furnishe him a sufficient guarde to attende upon his person.
He also told me, that he hade a letter from the pope unto me to the
same effect, but, by the occasion of ane aduertishement that before
his arryuall uas sent unto me by one of my owin subjectis out of
Italy, discouering me the quhole contentis of his directions, I thocht
goode to him, by calling him privelie unto me, and laying
to his chairge, hou he durst prasume to carrie a letre and message
from suche a persone unto me, that uas his souueraine, excepte that
he had first acquainted me thairwith, and obtained my permission ;
since I coulde not, without the manifest uounding both of my con-
science and honoure, ather ressaue or ansoure his lettirs quhose tyttels
and dignitie was directlie contrarie to my professions and resoluid
knouledge. His ansoure uas, that he perceaued suche affection in
the pope touardis me, and that the purpose was of suche things as
concerned my safetie, as he was thairby mouid to accepte this mes-
sage, and thairupon he told me all the praceiding purpose. My an-
soure uas, that I uolde receaue no message nor letre from him, since
he was my subject, and had undertaken it without my permission.
And thus haue I left him, farre short of his expectation ; praying you
hairtelie to excuse my being thus trubbilsum unto you, quhairunto
I ame forced, for performance of my promeise that I wolde neuer
conceale from you any message that should come to me from any of
* ? he hath made to him.
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 153
jour ennemies, but shall euer so behaue myself, in any thing that
maye concerne you, as becummis
Your most louing and affectionate brother and cousin,
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
WRITTEN NEAR THE END OP 1602. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 57.
James sends the bearer for Ms pension — what communication he had
received from the king of France — the pope intends to send an am-
bassador to James with an offer of friendship upon certain conditions.
Madame, my dearest sister, Hauing the occasion to sende this
bearare my seruant unto you, for that ordinarie receipte quhiche, out
of your kyndest loue, it hath pleased you to bestowe upon me, I haue
thocht goode not to omitt to continew in my happelie begunne course,
by aduertishing you quhat is farther proceidit betuixt me and the
Frenche ambassadoure, since the wryting of my last unto you.
Within a shorte space after my returne from the bordouries, the said
ambassadoure repaired unto me with new directions from the king
his maister; the effecte of all consisting in two pointes. First, the
sayde king did sende me his hartiest and kindest thankes for that
louing message of congratulation that I sent him by the lorde Hoome,
with full assurance of the continuance of his constant freindshipp
unto me ; and next, for a proofe of his unfained loue unto me, he
thocht goode to foruarne me that the pope uas of intention to send a
commission unto me by the handis of the bishop of [Vaison] ,* thair-
by to make offer unto me of his goode will upon tuo conditions;
first, that I wolde graunt libertie of conscience to all the catholiques
in my kingdome, and next, that I wolde sende my oldest sonne to
Rome, thaire to be brocht up and instructed ; but the ambassadoure
said, that, since his maister knew so well quhat it was to be a king,
* " Drummond, a Scotsman by birth," Tytler's Scotland, ix. 393.
CAMD. SOC. X
154 LETTERS OF
he nothing doubtid of my refusall to suche propositions, and that
thairfore his maister did aduyce me to giue as genttill refusall as
miclit be to that comission, and that he shoulde so worke as, notwith-
standing my refusall, I shoulde incurre no prejudice. My ansoure
was, that I most hartelie thanked his maister for his louing and plain
dealing, and that I thocht myself most happie that had so greate a
monarcke to be both a counselloure and ane agent for me. I haue
also since the hearing of this messsage ressaued aduertishement from
one of my subjectis in France, of the same comission intendit by the
pope, and withall, he sent me the arguments quhiche in that comis-
sion wolde be usid unto me, for persuading me to graunte the said
libertie of concience, quhiche I doe lykewayes heirwithall send unto
you. But, as I doe greatlie wonder of thaire uanitie that can thinke
that I carrie so corrupted eares as can patientlie heare of so un-
reasonable demandis, so doe I fullie comitte me in all this to youre
wisdome, for upon youre aduyce only will I ground my behauioure,
in kaice any suche message come unto me. And thus, not doubting
but ye will fauourablie heare, and with conuenient speede dispatch,
this bearare, I end with renewing the assurance of the unfained
Youre most louing and obleished brother and cousin,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
6TH JANUARY 1602-3. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 120.
My very good brother, Hit pleaseth me not a little that my true
intents without gloses or guiles are by you so gratefully taken, for I
am nothing of the vile disposition of such as while their neighbours
house is likely to be a-fyre, will not only not help but not affoord them
water to quench the same. Yf any such you have hard of toward
me, God grant he remember it not to well for them. For the arch-
ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI. 155
duke, alas ! poore man he wisheth every body lyke himself except his
bonds, wich, without his brothers help, he will soone repent his signory.
I suppose that considering whose apert enemy the king of Spaine
is, you will not neglect so much your own honor to the world
(though you had no particular love to me) as to permitt his em-
bassador in your land that so causelesly persecutes such a princess
as never harmed him. Yea, such a one as, if his deceassid father had
bene rightly informed, did better merite at his hand than any prince
on erth ever did to other. For where hath there bene an example
that any one king hath ever denyed so fair a present as the whole
seventene provinces of the Lowe Countries ? Yea, who not only wold
have denyed them, but sent a douzen gentlemen to warne him of
their slyding from him, with offer of keeping them from the neere
neighbors hands, and sent treasure to paye the shaking townes from
laps. Deserved I such a recompence as many a complot both for
my lyfe and kingdom ? Ought I not to defend and bereve him of
such weapon as might inuaye myselfe ? He will say, I help Zeland
and Holand from his hands. No. Yf eyther his father or himself
wold observe such oth as the emperour Charles obliged himself, and
so in sequele his sonne, I wold not [have] delt with others territoryes.
But they holde those by such covenants, as not observing, by their owne
grauntes they are no longer bound unto them. But though all this
were not unknowen to me, yet I cast such right reasons over my
shoulder, and regarded their good, and have never defended them in
a wicked quarrell. And had he not mixt that goverment, contrary
to his owne laws, with the rule of Spannyards, all this had not
Now for the warning the French sent you of Vesons ambasade to
you. Methinks the king, your good brother, hath given you a good
caveat that, being a king, he supposeth by that measure that you
wold deny such offers ; and, since needes you will have my councell,
I can hardly beleeve that, being warned, your owne subjects shall be
suffered to com into your relme from such a place to such intent.
Such a prelate, if he came, should be taught a better lesson than
156 LETTERS OF ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI.
playe so presumptious and bolde a part afore he knew your good
lyking thereof, wich, as I hope, is farr from your intent ; so will his
coming verify to much good Mr. Simples asseverations at Rome,
of wich you have ere now bene warned ynough. Thus you see how
to fulfill your trust imposed in me (wich to infringe I never mynde),
I have sincerely made patent my sinceritie, and, though not fraught
with much wisdome, yet stuffed with greate good will. I hope yow
will beare with my molestyng you to long with my skratching
hand, as proceding from a hart that shall be ever filled with the
sure affection of
Your loving and frendly sistar,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
21ST JULY 1586. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 69.
Congratulations and thanks on the conclusion of a league between Eng-
land and Scotland.
The league to which this letter refers bears date 5th July 1586, and is printed in
Rymer's Fcedera, xv. 803.
My triall of your syncere affection, my dear brother, in the con-
cluding of our league, hath ben both pleasing to my expectacion and
necessary for your government ; for both you have linked such a
6ne to you as but your self canne ever separate, and you have made
a quintessence of sum humours, which, if they had lyen lurking, you
woold parchance have nourished them as mete instruments to sever
your kingdoms quiet and your good frends love, But since you
have made so good a tast how sower liquor they hold, and how
grosly they woold handle so fine a peice a work as kings amitye,
and how they woold have wrested every string to their owne note,
remembring sum other tune more, paraventure, than any song of
yours, I trust it shall serve for a memorial that such do no harme if
they help not.
I have no woords to expres the many thanks my brest yeldeth you,
for your redy parforming of our covenant, wich by Gods grace shall
ever remayn inviolated for my part, and doubt not of your just
158 LETTERS OF ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI.
requitall. Also I must not forget the last kynd letter you writt me,
putting to my choice of tyme and persons for our bordars mattars, of
which I cannot presently make aunswer untill the return of my
commissioners, after whose arryvall I shall not faile to signifie my
further request and determination therein, thinking my self infinitely
beholding to your frank dealing in this behalf, and do promise that
my chief contention with you shall be, hearafter, who may convince
other in all honorable kyndnes, as knoweth the Lord God, whome
ever I besech preserve you with long reign and healthfull life.
Your most assured and
affectionate sister and cousin,
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
8TH OCTOBER 1588. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 71.
Defeat of the armada — reliance the Spaniards placed in Scottish help —
the queen's thankfulness to James for his intention to have resisted
their landing — she cautions him against being misled into making
unreasonable demands upon her.
Elizabeth's letters during the armada period partook of the universal excitement. In
the following, as in all her other letters written at that time, she is more plain-spoken and
direct than usual. The Roman catholic earls who had invited the Spaniards to land in
Scotland were at this time admitted more and more to James's confidence. The master of
Grlammis was dismissed from his charge of captain of the king's guard, and the office was
bestowed upon the earl of Huntly. These circumstances naturally excited in the mind of
Elizabeth the suspicion which is obvious in the latter part of the following letter.
Albeit, my deer brother, the mighty malice and huge armyes of
my hatefull enemyes and causeless foes hath apparently spitt out
their venimous poison and mortall hate, yet, throgh Gods goodnes,
our power so weakned their pride [and] cut of their nombers at the
first, that they ran away to their further overthrowe. And so mightly
hath our God wrought for our innocency, that places of their greatest
trust hath tumid to prosecute them most, yea, every place hath
servid the turne to ruine their hope, destroy themselves, arid take
them in the snare they laide for our feet. His blessid name be ever
magnified therefore, and graunt me to be humbly thankfull, though
never hable to requite the lest part of such immeasurable goodness !
Among the rest of their succours, I suppose your realme to have
bene supposid not to have bene least willing, nor the most unready,
to aunswer their trust, wich I doubte not had answeryd their ex-
pectation, if your naturall affection towarde me and regarde of our
strayte amitie had not impeached their landing ; wich though they
never profered, yet I have cause, by your promise, vow, and assu-
rance, to acknowledge your full intent to have resisted such attempt,
and doe take your readines in no less kinde parte than if the acte had
bene put in execution; and if (wich God forbyd) any dangerous
course should be attempted against your quyet estate, I will shew
myself most ready, by all meanes and force, to resist and overthrow
the same, so as my requitall shall ever acquite your kingly over-
And if any shall (to increase your good favor towards them) instill
in your eares to demand such unfitt and unseasonable demands at
my hands as may not be fittly graunted, for som waighty reasons, and
yet suppose, that for feare you fall to other course, I may be in-
duced to yeld therto, lett me use you in this as right amitie requireth,
wich consisteth chiefly in plaine and sincer dealing. Right deer brother,
be assured, that you cannot, nor ever will, more speadily demand
tilings honorable and secure than my entire good affection shall ever
be most ready to corresponde you; but, if any shall be required that
my present estate shall not permitt as sure for me, than abuse not
your judgment with so contrarious thoughts, for never shall dread of
any mans behaviour cause me doo ought that may esbrandill * the seat
that so wel is settled. Thereof judge not, that I will not ever deserve
your amitie as that you need seeke your owne ruine by following
others wills, who seek your wrak if you leave your surest friend.
* Shake or disquiet, ebranler.
160 LETTERS OF ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI.
And thus, with trust that my true good will shall be rightly skanned,
I end to trouble you with this long skrybling, with my million of
thanks for your most frendly and kynde offers, wich never shall out
of my memory ; as knowith the Lord, who bless you with all felicity
and many years of raigne.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
SAID TO HAVE BEEN WRITTEN IN DECEMBER 1588. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 73.
The queen intercedes with James on behalf of the Low Countries, whom
he had threatened with letters of mark for the recovery of debts due to
My deere care of your honor and good estate, my deer brother,
permitts me not to overslip any cause wherein I supose any demi-
nution to befall to eyther, and, driven by so good a ground, it will
not dislike you (I make me sure) if I write you my mynd in such
[a] case. And this it is. The states of the Lowe Countreys, whome
you are not ignorant I have and doo ayde, to keep them in breth
from the extreame mine that is ment them, finde themselves sorely
aggrevid, that, at this tyme of their greate neede, to releeve their
own danger, their country es loss, and their continuall well-ny
importable charges, you, that profess the true religion, and protest
such inward affection to advance that cause, can find in your hart so
great neglect of them and their wants, as at this season, so out of
season for them, to make a clayme for debts owed to your subjects ;
wich when I hard, I could no less doo than to make it knowen unto you,
my dear brother, how sorry I was to heare of such a proposition, togi-
ther with the manace of letters of mart if the spedelyer it were not
answeryd. Consider, I beseech you, of your dealings in this sorte ; how
you shall wound your frend, glad your foes, and wrong yourself. Who
will belive that you pass of [that] religion, that suffers the professors
to perish ? Yea, who will suppose that your amitie is sownde to me,
whan you affect my party ? Nay, I pray God the enemy, who carith
for neyther of us, make not a skorne of our frendship, as thinking it
full faynte and feeble. I meane not herby that it is not reason for a
king to right his subjects of wrong, and to procure, in tyme con-
venyent, such seemly remedies as may fit his place and help his
vassals loss. But the most* of this consiste in the tyme, and for the
parsons. For, as you shall perceave, a great somme of this great
value is not the debt but of other countryes and captains, whome
they rule not, according as at length my servant hath charge to tell
you, with my most effectuous desyre and earnest request that you
more regarde the cause and tyme than any private subjects suite,
and that it might please you, all these things well wayed, to surcease
any preparation that might make shew to annoye them. Albeit I
doubte no whitt but they might defend themselves against a greater
force; yett, let no man saye that by your hand they* be afflicted
that have miserie ynough. And thus I end, with my most affec-
tionate petition that these lynes be considered according to the hart
that wrytes them, who never ceasith to pray for your best, as God is
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
16th march 1588-9. copy in Thompson ms. p. 75.
The queen remonstrates with James for his conduct towards the Roman
This letter will be found to be sufficiently illustrated by the remarks introductory to
My deere brother, I am dry vin, through the greatness of my care
* So in the MS. The sense seems to require " worst." The word tl for " in the latter
part of the sentence is probably an interpolation.
CAMP. SOC. Y
162 LETTEES OF ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI.
for jour sure estate, to complaine to your self of your self, wonder-
ing not a little what injurious planet against my neerest neighbours
raignith with such blindness as sunrith them not to forsee their hang-
ing perill and most imminent danger. Shall I excuse them, [that]
they know it not ? I am to true a witness that ignorance cannot ex-
cuse, as having bene a most neer spy to finde out those trecheryes.
Must I say they dare not ? Far be it from kingly magnanimity to
harbrough in their breast so unseemely a gest. Have I no excuse
to serve them for payment ? Well, than, most I wayle that I can-
not mend, and if ther befall them mishap, I am not guilty of such
disastre. Yet can I not desist, though I might be discouraged, to
beseech you in Gods name not to overslip such happy occasions as it
hath pleased God to revele unto you. For if, whan they be at your
side, you will not make yourself a proffit of their wrack, how will
you catch them whan they are aloose from you ? Let to late ex-
amples serve you for patern, how dishonourable it is to prolong to
doo by right, that [which] after they are driven to doo by extre-
mity. Yea, and perchance, as being taught to take heede, they will
shunn the place of danger, and so your danger worse than the others.
It had bene for [your] honor and surety neuer to have touched,
than so slightly to keep them, in a skorne, in durance ; to be ho-
nored with your presence, with all kyndnes, and soone after to be
extolid to your deerest chamber. Good Lord ! What uncouth and
never-hard [-of] trade is this ? You must pardon my plaine dealing, for
if my love ware not greater than my cause, as you treate it, I should
content my self to see them wrackt with dishonor that contemns
all loving warnings and sister-lyke counsell. I pray God there be
left you time (you have delt so untimely) to be able to apprehend
and touche such as dares boldly, throwgh your suffrance, attempte
any thing they list, to bring you and your land to the slavery of
such as neuer yet spared their own. I know not how gracious they
will be to you and your realme. When they get footing they will
suffer few feete but their owne. Awake, therfore, deer brother,
out of your long slomber, and deall like a king who will ever raigne
alone in his owne. If they found you stoute, you should not lack
that wold followe you, and leave rotten posts.
I marvell at the store you make of the Spanyards, being the
spoyles of my wrack. You writt me word not one should byde
with you, and now they must attend for more company. I am sorry
to see how small regard you have of so great a cause. I may
clayme by treaty that should not be; but I hope, without such
claime, seeing your home practises, you will quickly ryd your relme
of them with speede, wich I doe expect for your owne sake, not the
least for myne, of whome you may make sur reckening, if you aban-
don not yourself to be protected by [me] for ever. And thus I end by
axing a right interpretation of my plaine and sincere meaning, and
wish ever to you as to my self, as knowith the Lord, who ever
I beseech to preserve you with long and happie days. 16 Mar.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
19th may 1589. copy in Thompson ms. p. 80.
The king, having been successful over the rebellious Roman catholic
nobles, is warned not to trust them again, but to finish their treason
This letter is assigned in the margin of our MS. to the 19th May 1589, and perhaps
that is the correct date, although it seems equally applicable to the circumstances of 1594.
In both years there was a rebellion of the Roman catholic earls. In the former year they
mustered in great force at " the brig of Dee," but fled without striking a blow, on the
approach of the king. In the latter, they defeated the king's forces in the battle of Glen-
livat, but were suppressed by the king himself, their strongholds destroyed, and many of
their followers executed. The king's immediate reconciliation with the leaders of the re-
bellion, which is to be inferred from the following letter, points to 1589; but other
passages, which dwell upon the repetition of the offence, the king's personal danger, and
his valour, seem more properly applicable to 1594.
Since your late to true experyence, my deer brother., hath, evin
164 LETTERS OF ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI.
with the victoryes of your rebbels, made sufficient acquittance of the
slaunder fowlly made of my most true and unfayned advertisments,
so am I replenished with joy, that my deer eares have accomplished
my behooffull desires for your most needfull warnings, and give my
lowliest thanks to the hygh God, for his glorious goodness shynid
upon you with his favorable eyes; hoping that you will shunne
now, having this advantage, the future perrill that such attempts
may breede you, and that you will feare, through such negligence,
to tempt to farr the wrath of Him that gave you this upper hand*
For if pitie of the parties that never remembred you, whose former
offences were not so old that the memorie thereof needes be forgot-
ten, nether yet the new falling, evin, to the same offence, wich
promesith small hope of ever amends,, may serve, I will not per-
suade myself that a meaner than a king will ever tollerate so oft, so
dangerous, and opprobrius contempts. Small honor, wisdome, or for-
sight will the world throughout supose in that prince that will for
fond lyking or armfull remors perill his owne bayne. God forbid
you should lose the reputation of a king-like rule, that, so unlike a
king, would work your own reproche. For they be actions, not
words, wich paynts out kings truly in their coulours. And there
be so many vewars of their facts that their disorders permitts no
shades, nor will abide excuses. I beseech you, therefore, despise
not the work that God hath fraimd, nor yet contemne the counsell
that your assured geve you, and neglect not the many warnings
that those mens own demerites have layde before you, nor forgett
the danger that your own parson hath narrowly escaped, but finish
this treason with justice, wich no man may reproch, but every crea-
Take me, my deere brother, aright, as that creature that ever
shunneth to take bloud, but of those that might and shold have be-
trayed the innocent, and, in such cases, the less evill is to be chosen.
Of malice I speake nothing, God is witness, but for your best is all
my care, and so I hope you will rightly interprete all my textes,
wich all shall ever tende to your most safety and true honor. Let
me figurate afore your eyes what should be the danger if this princi-
palis should be skantid of their right. They are the same men.
They live and love you not, with whom they have practised.
What should rule you to trust their curtesy so farr as to leave it
ready in their hands to take you, as they ment, make you another
princes prisoner and captive, subiect your realme, and translate it to
the owner of another country? If the hope of all these dangers
might not lye upon the trust of so often and so late offenders, you
might perhaps be seduced by dangerouse advice to more * them and
ruine yourself. But when you behold this table, I feare not so
perrillous an act. And thus I send my foolish but loving discourse,
receaving much contentment that your valour amiddes most danger
incouraged your faithfull, daunted your traytors, and joyed your
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
16TH APRIL 1590. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 85.
The queen urges James to give attention to the affairs of his kingdom —
reliance of the Spaniards upon Scottish help.
The date assigned above to this letter is that given to it in the margin of our MS. If
it be accurate, the letter was written to James before his return from Denmark. He and
his queen sailed from Cronenburgh on the 21st April and landed at Leith on the 1st May
My deere brother, I finde an old English proverb truly veryfied,
that " a feast long looked is good when it comith," by your late re-
porte that this gentleman hath brought me. For, after many
monithes no knowledge of your good estate, I perceave the finishing
of your late nupciall feaste, and of your safe escape from eminent
dangers, for wich I have bene so carefull, as a great burden of
heavy thoughts are thereby unladen from my brest, and yelde to
* Perhaps a mistake of the transcriber for " spare."
166 LETTERS OF ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI.
God the thanks, and not to any your indevour, who tempted (I
think) to much His goodness in adventuring his mercy. I cannot
but render you a million of thanks, that, though it were long first,
yet at length you right me so much as to suppose of my content to
heare of your safety. And as to touching your home causes, I as-
sure you they neede much a kings eye, and are to greate slenderly
to be governid. Yf you wold trust true warnings, you would have
kept your subjects, yea your greatest, in better awe and more feare
than they be. For Gods sake, and your own surety, looke better to
your kingdom than you have don. Boldnes will make to many
rulars, if no kings ; nimia familiaritas generat contemptum. You hiay
belive me, for experience, though not to trust me for my witt. And
judge rightly of me, that as I bare none of yours malice, so can I
not endure that their bold attempts shall shake your state, or trouble
your neighbours. Ther are not yet three days past, since I in-
tercepted a note that was sent concerning the surety that the
Spaniard had of frendes in your contry, and that your out iles were
assured to have succour from your inlande lords, and both to joyne
with the foreners ayde. Yf you suppose that these advertisments
are inventions and no truthe, I vowe unto you, on my knowledge,
you are in an extreme error, and am afrayd, if you shorten not such
woork, they will spyne you such a thred as will marr the fashon of
your dominion. I have imparted something of this matter to this
gentleman, as allso aunswere to those twoo points that concerne both
lege * and unity, and, as you see I have remembred more your affaires
than myne owne, so I trust you will think that I yeld my self
obliged unto you that have such a care for such things as doo
concern us both. So I comitt you, my deere brother, to Gods
sefe tuition, who ever guide you to doo that is best for your
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
DATE NOT ASCERTAINED. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 126.
The queen explains to James what has passed between her' and an am-
bassador resident in London respecting a baron who is with James —
although of the feminine sew, the queen can never endure affronts — if
aught be in her of value, it is that she can keep her own counsel and
that of her friends.
Baron Borough was " with James," as we have seen, in 1593, and baron Zouehe in
1594, but I cannot fix this letter as having reference to either of them.
My deer brother, I suppose you will not conceave an evill impression
of my judgment, nor my affection to you so small, as that I shold so
long have refrayned my hand from such gratefull acceptance of so kind
a letter as your last did shewe me, were it not that I shold disfornish
myne of answere of that wich you required to knowe. For, though
I have well noted the sondry tymes that this resident ambassador
hath had my audience, in wich many kindness [es] have pased in
wonted sort, yet nothing more was said but that the baron with you
hath not, nor ever shall, have other commission than to remember
you, for your owne wele, to committ nothing that might displease
me, but warne you to beleeve that it is your only surety to relye of
mee ; and, of the other matter, not one word I heard. Nowe, for
your good advice you gave him, I never heard more necessarie
counsell for him, if he have grace to folio we it ; but he hath to much
about him to be capable of such advice. But, as I told his am-
bassador, I sawe he wold make me to vaine glorious to have the fame
alone of resisting his bold attempts. For I did vowe, that, though I
were of the feminyne sexe, I cold never endure such affronts as of
late he hath done many. For my shallow braine wold not fadome
so deep as to consider^ so much of my people that I left my selfe out
of the reckoning, but I shold thinke that I shold make both them
and me contemned if my ennemyes should see I cold beare so much.
The king is so used with my fond speeches that he will, looke of the
168 LETTERS OF ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI.
experience of my love, and lett my follyes go. Thus you see, my
good brother, that I am of this religion, qui vadit plane, vadit sane.
For your part, you have played it in this matter so wisely, and with
such good caution, that not I alone, who findes my selfe indebted to
you for your kindenes, but your selfe might by good reason can * your
selfe thanke for using so good a methode with your well beloved.
And remember that, for silence, you made not your worst choyce
of mee, that never yet uttered worde that you desired might be
reserved, and of that assure you, for, if ought be in mee of value,
that is not the lest, that I can bothe keep mine owne counsell and
my frends, and in recompence, if ought best worth, that I can paye
you with, accompt this prayer in cheefest degree, that I desyr that
all yours that best ought do carry a sound and unspotted faith unto
you, not seeking more their owne than yours.
This is my text, as for paraphrases I can make none, and ende this
scribling with my hartie thankes and best wishes to you, from
Your most afFectionat sister and cousin.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
DATE NOT ASCERTAINED. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 130.
The queen defends her conduct towards James, and complains bitterly of
his lethargic inattention to his kingdom — also of his misrepresenta-
tions of her conduct made to foreign princes.
I believe this letter to have been written in 1595, on the occasion of the coolness
between Elizabeth and James alluded to in the introduction to letter No. LVIII., but
, not being quite certain I have preferred placing it in the appendix. The letter is a noble
vendication of the queen's general line of policy towards James, and will be found well
worthy of attention.
My deer brother, May it agree with my deserts that what hath
bene should either be so forgotten as hit be not acknowledged, or so
neglected as if ought were forslowen that meete were for the season ?
* So in the MS. The sense seems to require "claim" or "challenge," or some
Was it my guilt, or your error, that your rebells, when I knewe
they were such, had so stronge hold in your favoure as manie a
monneth past yow were pleased to counte them but yours [in
dearest] sort. Yea, when they were full neere you, they must not
bee seen, but so dandle[d] as best merite could scarce crave more.
What needed an armie to pursue such as might so soone be had ?
Whie put you your person to suche a laborious voiage when many a
day afore you might with less paynes and more honour have had
them? But who was then in deepe lethargie, that gave so long a
breath to so ivell a cause, and brede a caused doubt, no suspected lask,
but to plaine an oversight? And must I, for all my warnings, for
all my presents, for all my watchfull howerlie care, be so well re-
warded as one that either brake vowe or overslipt matter ? For the
first, I never knew you at other neede then that your will made you,
and so that turne might easelie be borne with lesse then that I sent
you. I neglect your causes ! would God you cured as well your
disseased state as I have narrowlie watched to see it preserved.
That manie monneth hath past since my letters visited you not, lay
not the burden on the shoulders that deserved it not, but remember
what courage was given to proceed further, when yet the thanks are
to be given for that was last bestowed.
And well it were if that were all. I irke that my pen should
write the rest. Suppose you that so long a raigne as mine hath so
fewe frends, or want so narrowe intelligence, as that complaints and
moans made to forraine estates, of straight dealings made by such as
ought most have helped you, could be kept secret from my know-
ledge? But if you should be asked, what you would have donie
more then pursue them to their confines, I think you would have
aunswered them at leasure, to make them suppose more than could
be sayd. No we, deare brother, thinke with yourself. What
meaneth this? To get a newe, or keepe the olde? I am more
some that by my example they may have cause to doubt your trewe
measure to them, when better and firmer have had so evell requitall.
There is no kinge, nor potentate, to whom, I thanke God, I neede
CAMT). SOC. Z
170 LETTEKS OF ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI.
yeld account of my actions, and yet so sincere they shall ever be as
they shall ever passe current with honour amids all there censures,
and will disdaine that any have the precedence of both my woords
and actions, of wich even themselves have geven me so good testi-
monie, that I beleave your perswations came too late to make them
believe the contrarie.
Judge nowe, with me, whether my silence have had just ground,
and whether any of my ranke, if I had used them so, would have
forgotten so unseeming a part. And yet, for all this, if I may per-
ceave you to regreat such a traitment, and to assure to binde such
one to me as you affirme you shall, be sure that if any your
traitors with their combined faction shall any way assaile you, you
shall finde me awake, as having no drowsie humor when your affairs
neede speede assisstance. And wold not have you doubt, that I
trust more at your ennemies hands but the worst they can, and most
they may. If you had beleeved it as well, your lords had not bene
in place for ayde, nor out of your hands to treate as you liste.
With my assured affection to your person and for your good, I end,
commiting you to God's safest tuition.
Your affectionate sister,
JAMES TO ELIZABETH.
DATE NOT ASCERTAINED. COPY IN THOMPSON MS. P. 59.
An anxious and amorous letter, expressing anxiety for an acknowledge-
ment of a poem sent by James to the queen, as " ah incerto authored
and sending a sonnet inclosed — begging also that the queen will trust
the present messenger.
I am unable to fix the date of this curious letter, nor have I been able to find a
copy of the sonnet alluded to. I should conjecture the letter to have been written very
late in the reign of Elizabeth.
Madame and dearest sister, Notwithstanding of my instant writting
ane letter unto you, yet could I not satisfie my unrestfull and longing
spreit, except be writting of this feu lynes, quhilk, albeit thay do not
satisfie it, yet thay do stay the unrest thairof, quhill the ansour is re-
turning of this present. Madame, I did send you befoire*
Sensine, dame Cinthia hes oft reneuid hir hornis, and innumerable
tymes soupit with hir sister Thetis, and the berare thairof returnit, and
yet uoyde of ansoure. I doubt not ye haue red, hou Cupidis dart is
fyry callid because of the suddaine insnairing and restles burning
thairafter. Quhat can I ellis judge, but that ather ye had not re-
ceaued it, except the bearare returned with the contrary report, or
ellis that ye judge it not to be of me, because it is incerto authore ;
for quhilk cause I haue insert my name to the end of this sonnet heir
inclosit. Yet, one uay am I glaid of the ansouris keiping up, be-
cause I hoipe nou for ane maire full, after the reeding also of thir
presentis, and heiring this bearar dilaite this purpose mair at large,
according to my secreit thochtis ; for ye knau deid lettiris cannot
ansoure na questionis ; thairfore, I most pray you, hou unappeirant
so euer the purpois be, to trust him in it, as ueill as yif I myself spak
it unto you, face be face, quhilk I uald wish I micht, sen it is
specially in any maner only for that purpose that I haue send him.
Thus, not doubting of your courtesie in this farr, I committ you,
madame and dearest sister, to Goddis holy protection, the day and
dait as in the uther letter.
Your mair louing and affectionatt
brother and cousin then (I feir) yet ye beleue,
* A blank in the MS.
172 LETTERS OF ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
DATE NOT ASCERTAINED. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 28. ORlti. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen is grieved that James has no one about him through whom he
can sound to the bottom the recent conspiracy against his life — she
holds no man so dear that he should not make his last gasp for such
an intent — the accused shall be attached if he return into England —
she cannot think the lords guilty of any treasonable design — the
wickedness of the time makes kings mad — the queen's cholerick humour
— she has sent a gentleman to the king who is very wise and faithful
honest — has never beguiled the poorest vassal with a broken word,
and hopes she shall not live to use such iniquity with one of James's
I am unable to fix the date of this letter to my own satisfaction. The French address was
not used by Elizabeth in any of the previous letters after 1586. If written before that year,
it may relate to circumstances connected with the Raid of Ruthven, or with some of the
plots of the banished lords during the ascendancy of Arran. If written after 1586, it
probably relates to one of BothweU's mad attempts.
My deare brother, It grives not a little my careful mynde of your
safety, that you shuld Want any one person wherby you might sound
to the botome so great a peril as aperes by your ambassador was
practised against your owne life. For this assure yourselfe, that I
hold no man so deare as he shuld not make his last gaspe that I
knewe had euer suche intent, if it wer but that you appartaine [unto]
me so nerely in bloud, besides the lieu of king you hold ; and of this
doubt not, but al the menes shal be found that possible may attache
him if he make his retourne into this land. And for the lords, I
cannot see that the shal be found coulpable of so inorme a crime yf
ether othes or reason may gouverne my iugement, sins more bound
to any other succedar the cannot be ; and some of them, if the had
had so treasoble thoght, might or now haue executed it, hauinge
than in ther handes your person ; but al I leue to furder trial, as
she that mynds to kipe them under garde to answer furdar profe.
I hope you wol lay to my charge no forgetfulnes that I haue re-
tarded a spetial gentleman to visite you on my behalfe, but rather
impute it to the wickednes of this time, that makes kinges this yere
mad, some in hauinge to muche pacience, and myselfe, possessinge a
cholerique humor, in expecting what might be the but of thes
dessains ; and if I coulde haue found a sphinx to haue expounded
ther ridel, I had not failed to send you this bearar long agone, for I
haue not so smal a parspectiue in my neighbors actions, but I haue
foresene some wicked euent to folowe a careles gouvernement
And now that thos bodings haue not begiled me, I haue thoght ex-
pedient that youe shuld not be ignorant of my sincere and plain
mening in thes causes ; bothe how I take them, and how I mynde to
kipe my owne dores from my ennemis malice ; and so do wische
that our solide amitie may overthawrt thes develische machines.*
This gentilman is very wise and faithful honest. I beseche you
fauor him with the hiring f of suche charge as from me he hathe re-
ceaved, and make as sure accompt of me, as of whom you recken
your surest trust. I never yef begiled the powrest vassal with a
broken worde. I shal not hue, I hope, to use suche iniquitie with
one of your estat. And thus I leue to molest you longar, with my
infinite prayers for your longe prosperitie to many a yere untold ;
and so, right deare brother, I commit you to the living God.
Your most assured loving sistar and cousin,
A mounsieur mon bon frere et cousin
le roy d'Escosse.
So in MS. for machinations. f i. e. hearing.
174 LETTERS OF ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
DATE NOT ASCERTAINED. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 33. QRIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The general faithlessness of the times causes the queen to rejoice the more
at James's last dispatch — these latter days of the world are too weak
to retain bodies sound enough to carry good minds — caution against
the false advisers by whom James was surrounded — praise of his
This letter was written at a time when James was exposed to the false counsels of the
Spanish party, but I have not been able to fix its date with any certainty. The original is
very much defaced by time and rough usage.
Right deare brother, I had thoght that this wreached faitheles time,
in wiche the subiects haue license to depriue bothe life and land from
princis rule, had yelded no cornar for my delyght, but by your last
despeche, I find that therein my winning * hathe somewhat begiled my
thoghtes, and makes me see that God meneth not to make you
blind amonge some of your felowes, who willingly let slip the raines
of ther reason to the wyl of ther sedicious rebelz ; but I perceiue
that his grace, who I trust wyl neuer leaue you, hathe inclined your
hart to hate the ground-work of suche mischifs, and bent you to
take the better part, and so, that you be sure of my fast and firme
good wyl, that haue made good profe thereof not many dayes past,
and mind so to continue, with more increase than any litel diminu-
tion. My pen may not with equal balance countervaile the thankes
that my heart yeldes you, for your gjreat] and large offers of al the
seruice you have to help me withal, as also, in particular, not regard-
ing spotted bloud, in respect of myne untainted, wiche shal neuer haue
any impurenis in your behalf. These lattar dayes of the world are
to weke to retaine so sound bodies as may cary good minds, but
rather al inclined to what may be worst thoght and wickedlest done.
It is more than time that we that mean not to folowe a false banner,
nor to make one in a wicked crowd, shuld so strengthen ourselfis and
fast joining the knot of our frendeship, as they that haue wil may
haue no might to harm, and that the face of our enemies may turne
the backe of ther attemps, and leaue to them no hope to receiue
aught els than shame, as ther malice is witnes. You shall find
in me al readenes to do al that may serue this tourn, and thogh I
knowe ther lacketh no zizania amonge your corne, nor lurking
intelligencers of your actions, nor wants no fine perswaders undar
coulor of your greatnis to wrest you to imbrace the serpentz that
shal sting you, yet I beleave your worde, a[nd] feare no others hate,
with the opinion that being wise, and used to many humours, you
wyl haue skil not to look what the be but what the say, and not
to suppose that wicked folkes can be made true counselars, nor that
they shal euer prospier that lean to rotten aides, whos marischals haue
more mynding of hors-hokes than of company. The firmist ground,
therefor, is fittest for your trust, and, in frindeship Ciceroes rule,
that the have traitted and be assured measure.
This is all for the present I meane to troble you with, saving to re-
quest you accept my most aflPectionat thankes for the zeal your em-
bassador shewed me, by your offers by captain Brewes that you
would make me. I assure you this shal never fal to ground but be
imploied upon a grateful prince. I mus[t not] leave out the praises
that I think deue to your ambassadors merite. If you had bin present
you could have wisched him to use your affayres in no earnestar, no
more faithful sort. I assure you he hath desarued your fauor for
the traic in your great trust the lords as mu hate as of
yours his negotiating I of his spetiall a . I beseech
you let him [have your] fauor therefore. [I commend] you, my dere
[brother], to the fruition of the [Almyghty], who [ever have you in
Your assured loving systar and cousin,
A mon tres bon frere et cousin
le roy d'Escose.
176 LETTERS OF ELIZABETH AND JAMES VI.
* No. XCV.
ELIZABETH TO JAMES.
DATE NOT ASCERTAINED. RYDER MSS. ELIZ. NO. 32. ORIG. AUTOGRAPH.
The queen has heard that some Scottish lords set up Roman Catholicism,
and pretend that they have the king's leave — it is said that James
feigns with others, and lets these people proceed until they acquire such
power that he may allege that they compel him to tolerate them.
This letter refers to a period of James's reign when he was winking at the pro-
ceedings of the catholic lords, bnt I have not been able to determine its exact date. The
conjunction of Rome and Rheims seems to point to about the year 1580. The mention of
the latter place limits the date between 1578, when the seminary priests were expelled
from Douay, and 1593, when they returned thither.
I here, even now, suche newes as for your sake, more than my
none, I rue. Shal the enuious of our frendeship at Rome, Hemes, and
elz wher, vant of the veritie of ther long profesie so far furthe as
at ani instant the audacitie of some of your lordz be so far advansed
to infringe your late edictz with ther bold example, to set up an
other religion than your owne in your realme, and say the haue your
leue therfor ? I pray God you looke not through your fingars at
suche attemps, or eles litel hold may be taken to your profession.
Therfor I pray you let your correction with spede be sufficient ad-
uocat for your clernis in this action, and stop the tongues of suche
as say you ar surely thers, and do but fain with others, and letz al
run to that scope that you might aleage that compelled you
did it. Right deare brother, you see how [I] am sturred, whan
ought I see that might appaule your honor, or bringe in question
your constancy. I pray God assist you with his spirit, that no false
perswations, undar coular of your good, do not take hold to peril
your estat by suche as care more for others than you. Thus the
Lord euer kepe you from al insouerentie.
Your assured loving systar and cousin,
To my deerest brother and cousin the king of Scotts.
Alexander, Robert, 14, 15, 16, 17.
Angus, earl of, 2, 4, 9, 22, 71, 88, 95, 96.
Argyll, earl of, 108.
Armstrong, William, of Kinmont, 114,
Arran, James Stewart, earl of, x. xii. 6,
7, 10, 11, 14, 18, 19, 22, 23, 172.
Ashby, William, 49, 62.
Ashfield, sir Edmund, 135, 136, 138.
Ashton, Roger, iii. 70, 82, 143, 151.
Babington's conspiracy, xiii. 37, 38.
Bedford, Francis earl of, 18.
Bellenden, sir Lewis, 14.
Berwick, 46, 68, 121.
■ governor of, 138.
Boleyn, Mary, 23.
Borough, Thomas lord, iii. xviii. 79, 80,
Bothwell, earl of, 35, 69, 75, 79, 82—86,
88—90, 99, 100, 103, 104, 106, 172.
Bowes, Robert, iii. xviii. 2, 7, 66, 67, 73,
74, 75, 77, 86, 93, 94, 121.
sir William, 121, 123, ib. 124, ib.
Bruce, Edward, abbot of Kinloss, 100,
107, 123, 124, 134, 135.
Bruncker, sir Henry, 132.
Burghley, lord, xi. 34, 42, 61.
Carlisle, 114, 120.
Carmichael, sir John, 63.
Cary, sir George, 1, 2.
Robert, x. 45, 46.
Cary, William, 23.
Colvill, laird of Wemyss, 100, 108, 109.
Colville, John, 6, 89.
Craig, right hon. J. G. vii.
Crichton, William, 96.
Croft, sir Archer Denman, xxii.
Darnley, Henry, 34, 35.
Davison, William, 4, 5, 9.
Douglas, Archibald, xiii. 34, 35, 38, 39,
Dunfermline, 15, 119.
Edinburgh, 28, 51, 52, 103.
Elizabeth, sends sir George Cary to James
on the occurrence of the Raid of Ruth-
ven, 1 ; styled la bonne femme avec le
chapeau rouge, 7 ; refuses to deliver up
Mar and Angus, 9 ; req uests James to
ascertain privately what the master of
Gray knows respecting a plot against
her, 10 — 13; urges James to candid
dealing with her, 17, 27 ; her anger at
the death of lord Russell, 19, 26, 27;
her care for James's personal safety, 23 ;
wishes for a league with Scotland, 27,
157; sends Randolph to conclude one,
28; declines to sign an " instrument"
to secure James an annuity, 29 — 33;
intercedes for Archibald Douglas, 34;
letters about Babington and queen
Mary^ 37 — 51 ; about the armada, 52,
158; about James's marriage, 55, 61,
165; her wrongs against Spain, 57,
155; requests James to look well to
the puritans, 63; thanks James for
delivering up O'Rourke, 64; urges him
to activity against the catholic earls,
and Bothwell, 70—79, 83—86, 90, 98,
103, 108, 161—5 ; her letter of
credence for lord Borough, 79; thanks
James for his answer to Westmerland,
81; letters respecting Buccleuch, 68,
114 — 117; mediates between James
and the kirk, 119; her anger at James's
appeal to foreign countries respecting
the succession, 121; letters respecting
Valentine Thomas, 123, 127, 134, 135;
praises the duke of Lennox, 140;
thanks James for offers of assistance in
Ireland, 141—143; her last letter, 154;
defence of her Scottish policy, 168;
letters of uncertain dates, 172, 174,
176; her fondness for nicknames, xi.
Elliot, William, 98.
Errol, earl of, 61, 71, 95, 96.
Essex, earl of, 135, 136.
Eure, sir William, 135, 136, 137.
Evelyn, John, vi. vii.
Falkland, 7, 16, 90, 112, 119.
Fenelon, La Mothe, 4.
Forster, sir John, 18.
Foulis, David, 140, 142.
Frederick II. of Denmark, death of, 59.
Glammis, master of, 1, 22, 158.
Glenlivat, battle of, 108, 163.
Gordon, James, 96.
Gowrie conspiracy, xviii. 132, 145.
earl of, 1, 7, 9.
Gray, master of, xi. 10, 11, 12, 13, 42,
44, 108, 109.
Greenwich, 10, 37, 75*
Halliwell, J. O. i.
Henry, prince, 132, 149, 151.
Herries, George, 88.
Holyrood house, 5, 6, 62, 69, 98, 108.
Hudson, Jame$ 32.
Hume, sir George, 46.
Hunsdon, Henry Cary lord, 47, 48, 49,
Huntly, earl of, xiv. 53, 57, 61, 71, 77,
86, 89, 95, 96, 158,
James VI. his interview with sir George
Cary after the Raid of Ruthven, 2; his
secret assurance to Fenelon, 6; his
emancipation from the Ruthven lords,
7; requests Mar and Angus may be
delivered up to him, 9 ; his satisfaction
with sir Edward Wotton, 14; regret
for the death of lord Russell, 18, 20 ;
his private addition to the league
between England and Scotland, 21;
his conduct after the recovery of power
by the protestant lords, 22, 24 ; wishes
Elizabeth to sign an " instrument, "
guaranteeing the payment of an allow-
ance to him, xii. 29 — 34 ; his reception
of Archibald Douglas, 34 ; his conduct
respecting Babington's conspiracy, and
the death of his mother, xiii. xix. 37 —
51; his letters respecting the armada,
51 — 55; respecting his marriage, 55 —
60; his conduct towards the catholic
earls, 61; delivers up O'Rourke, 64;
his annoyance by Bothwell, 75, 85;
refuses aid to the earl of Westmerland,
81 ; his defence of his lenient conduct
towards the catholic earls, 86, 95; is
compelled to take the field against
them, 108,110; his conduct respecting
the rescue of Kinmont Willie, xv. 114 ;
applies to foreign courts to befriend
him in reference to the succession to
England, 121 — 125; his letters respect-
ing the slander of Valentine Thomas,
125—131, 137; his thanks for con-
gratulations on escape from the Gowrie
conspiracy, 132; letter of recommend-
ation of Duke of Lennox, 139; offers
of assistance in Ireland, 140 — 142 ; pro-
poses a league against Spain, 143 —
151; his dealing with the pope, 149 —
156; sends sonnets to Elizabeth, 170.
Keith, sir William, 24, 25, 26, 42.
Ker, George, 71.
sir Thomas, of Fernihurst, 18, 19,
31, 39, 40.
Kinmont Willie, xv. 114, 120.
Knolles, sir Francis. 23.
Knox, John, 6.
Lauderdale, see Maitiand.
Lennox, Esme Stewart, duke of, x. 1, 2,
• Lodowick Stewart, duke of,
xviii. 139, 140.
Margaret, countess of, 136.
Leycester, earl of, 25, 26, 54.
Lindsay, sir James, 151, 152.
Linlithgow, 25, 26.
Lochmaben, castle of, 47.
Maitiand, Charles, second earl of Lauder-
dale, vi. vii.
John, first lord, chancellor of
Scotland, iv. vi. xiv.
John, duke of Lauderdale, iv. v.
John, first viscount Lauderdale,
Richard, vi. vii.; third earl of
sir Richard, of Lethington and
Thirlestane, iii. iv. vi.
Makgill, David, 87.
Mar, earl of, 1, 9, 22, 134, 135.
March, earl of, 7.
Mary, queen, xiii. xix. 37 — 49
Maxwell, lord, 15.
Melven, master of, 46.
Melvill, sir Robert, 42, 44, 83, 88, 91.
Menainville, De, 5, 6.
Morgan, 11, 12.
Morton, regent, 2, 61*
Mountjoy, lord, 141.
Mowbray, Francis, 145, 146.
Murray, earl of, 77.
Newbottle, lord, 71,
Nicholson, George, 148.
Oaksey, i. xxii.
Ochiltree, the " good " lord, 6.
O'Rourke, Brien, xviii. 64,65, 100, 102,
Parma, prince of, 61.
Parry, Thomas, 11, 12.
Pepys, Samuel, v. vi.
Philip II. xiv.
Randolph, secretary, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31,
33, 34, 35.
Reidswire, Raid of the, xii.
Richmond, 51, 67.
Rowan, Red, 114.
Russell, Francis lord, xii. 18, 20, 24, 26,
27, 29, 31, 40.
Ruthven, Beatrice, 145.
Raid of, x. 1, 4, 172.
Ryder, Mr. vii. viii.
rev. Edward, i. v. viii. xxii.
St. Andrew's, 7, 9, 19.
Scott, sir Walter, of Buccleuch, 68, 114,
Scroop, lord, 15.
Sidney, sir Philip, 54.
sir Robert, 53, 54.
Simple, Mr. 156.
Stafford, sir Edward, 42.
Stewart, Colonel William, 4, 5, 6, 7.
— — Margaret, 6.
Stirling, 21, 22, 86.
Thirlestane, iii. 93.
Thomas, Valentine, xvi. 125, 127, 128,
Thompson, captain Peter, ix.
■ sir Peter, i. viii. ix.
Tours, De, baron, 149.
Tousie, Robert, 68.
Tyrone's rebellion, 141.
Tytler's History of Scotland, references
to, xv. xviii. 2, 6, 9, 32, 33, 34, 35»
46, 47, 61, 63, 69, 77, 87, 95, 88, 100,
123, 125, 132, 134, 153.
Vaison, Drummond, bishop of, 153.
Walsingham, secretary, xi. 25, 34, 51.
Warrender, sir George, 46, 77.
Wemyss, laird of, 61, 62.
Westmerland, Charles Neville, earl of,
xviii. 20, 6Q t 81.
Windsor castle, 4, 94.
Worcester, earl of, 64.
Wotton, sir Edward, xi. 11, 14, 16, 18,
Zouche, Edward lord, of Haryngworth,
J. B. Nichols and Son, Printers, 25, Parliament Street, Westminster.
CAMDEN fr MttLW SOCIETY,
FOR THE PUBLICATION OF
EARLY HISTORICAL AND LITERARY REMAINS.
At a General Meeting of the Camden Society held at the Freemasons'
Tavern, Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, on Wednesday the
2nd of May, 1849,
The Right Hon. Lord BRAYBROOKE in the chair,
His Lordship having opened the business of the Meeting,
The Secretary read the Report of the Council agreed upon at their
meeting of the 18th April last, whereupon it was
Resolved, That the said Report be received and adopted, and that
the Thanks of the Society be given to the Director and Council for their
The Thanks of the Society were also voted to the Editors of the
Society's publications for the past year ; to Sir Charles Young, Garter
King of Arms, to the Reverend Lambert B. Larking ; and to the Local
The Secretary then read the Report of the Auditors agreed upon at
their Meeting of the 28th April last, whereupon it was
Resolved, That the said Report be received and adopted, and that the
Thanks of the Society be given to the Auditors for their trouble.
The Thanks of the Society having then been voted to the Treasurer,
2 ANNIVERSARY MEETING OF 1849.
The Meeting proceeded to the election of Officers, when
The Right Hon. Lord Braybrooke, F.S.A.
was elected President of the Society ; and
Thomas Amyot, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A.
William Henry Blaatjw, Esq. M.A.
John Bruce, Esq. Treas. S.A.
John Payne Collier, Esq. V.P. S.A.
Charles Purton Cooper, Esq. Gt.C, D.C.L., F.R.S., F.S.A.
William Durrant Cooper, Esq. F.S.A.
Bolton Corney, Esq. M.R.S.L.
Sir Henry Ellis, K.H., F.R.S., Sec. S.A.
The Rev. Joseph Hunter, F.S.A.
John Mitchell Kemble, Esq. M.A.
Peter Levesque, Esq. F.S.A.
Thomas Joseph Pettigrew, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A.
Frederic Ouvry, Esq. F.S.A.
Henry Crabb Robinson, Esq. F.S.A. and
William John Thoms, Esq. F.S.A.
were elected as the Council ; and
John Yonge Akerman, Esq. Sec. S.A.
George L. Craik, Esq. and
Edward Foss, Esq. F.S.A.
were elected Auditors of the Society for the ensuing year.
Thanks were then voted to the Secretary ; and to Lord Braybrooke,
for the interest he had always taken in the welfare of the Society, and for
his able conduct in the Chair.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS, 1849.
At a Meeting of the Council of the Camden Society held at No. 25,
Parliament Street, Westminster, on Wednesday the 9th May, 1849,
The Rt. Hon. Lord Braybrooke, the President, in the Chair;
Thomas Amyot, Esq. was elected Director ; John Payne Collier,
Esq. Treasurer; and William J. Thoms, Esq. Secretary, for the Year
REPORT OF THE COUNCIL
THE CAMDEN SOCIETY,
ELECTED 2nd MAY, 1848.
The Council of the Camden Society, elected on the 2nd of May,
1848, feel it necessary to repeat the announcement of their predecessors,
that, "like every similar Institution, the Camden Society has suffered
some diminution in its ranks from the operation of public causes/* But
they would express their confidence that those causes are now passing
over, and that it will not be long before the Society shall have regained
its early number of Members. Several Societies have been obliged to
yield to the circumstances of the times, and others will probably follow,
bat the number of Members of the Camden Society is still (again to use
the words of the last Report) sc amply sufficient to maintain the Society
in its course of usefulness, and to prove the wide interest still felt in the
objects for which the Society was instituted."
In full confidence of the stability of the Society the Treasurer has
followed the precedent of former years, and invested a sum paid in lieu of
annual payments, which has raised the Society's Stock from £900 14s. 9d.
to £911 115.
The Council have added to the List of Local Secretaries the name of
John Bailey Langhorne, Esq. who has kindly undertaken to dis-
charge the duties of that office for Richmond, Yorkshire, and its neigh-
bourhood ; and they avail themselves of this opportunity of again pressing
upon Members resident in the country the great service they may render
to the Society, by taking upon themselves that not very troublesome office,
or at all events by enlisting as Members such of their friends and neigh-
bours as are known to take an interest in the objects for which it has been
instituted. The Society's sphere of usefulness, the benefits it may be
4 REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1849.
able to confer on Historical Literature, must mainly depend on the amount
of funds which may be at the disposal of the Council.
The Council have to regret the deaths, during the past year, of —
Joseph Ablett, Esq.
Alexander Annand, Esq.
Charles Frederick Barnwell, Esq., F.S.A.
Benjamin Barnard, Esq.
Peter S. Benwell, Esq.
Right Hon. the Earl op Carlisle.
The Lord Bishop op Cork, Cloyne, and Ross.
John Comport, Esq., F.S.A.
Very Rev. John Anthony Cramer, D.D..
George Duke, Esq.
Enoch Durant, Esq., F.S.A.
Charles Filica, Esq.
Charles Gambier, Esq.
Mr. D. Haig.
John Hills, Esq. M.A.
Rev. G. Kennard.
W. Horton Lloyd, Esq., F.S.A.
William Henry Miller, Esq., F.S.A.
John Pitcairn, Esq.
Rev. Thomas B. Pooley, M.A.
William Robinson, Esq., LL.D , F.S.A.
Thomas Field Savory, Esq., F.S.A.
Rev. Thomas Streatfeild, F.S.A.
William Vines, Esq., F.S.A.
Anthony White, Esq.
Sir Giffin Wilson, F.R.S.
Rev. Robert Wintle, B.D.
The Council have, during the past year, added the following works to
the List of those to be published by the Society :—
I The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary. To be
edited by John Gough Nichols, Esq., F.S.A.
II. A Selection from the Porkington MS. in the possession of W. Ormsby Gore,
Esq. M.P. To be edited by James Orchard Halliwell, Esq., F.R.S.
REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1849. 5
III. Household Roll of John of Brabant, Son in Law of King Edward the
First. To be edited from the original in the Chapter House, Westminster, with a
Translation and Notes by T. Hudson Turner, Esq.
The books issued during the past year have been
I. The Diary of Henry Machyn, Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of London,
extending from the year 1550 to 1563, now the Cottonian MS. Vitellius F. v.
Edited by John Gough Nichols, Esq., F.S.A.
which belongs to the Subscription of the preceding year.
The Society is much indebted to Mr. John Gough Nichols, for the
ability and pains with which he has edited this Diary, one of the most
valuable records of the interesting period to which it relates, and which
has been hitherto scarcely known except by the frequent references which
showed how much Strype was indebted to it in his various publications.
II. Camden's Visitation of Huntingdonshire, made by Nicholas Charles, his
Deputy. Edited from the Original Visitation preserved among the Cottonian Manu-
scripts, by Sir Henry Ellis, K.H., F.R.S., Sec. S.A.; and illustrated with nume-
rous Wood Engravings of Arms, Seals, &c.
This work, the editorship of which was kindly undertaken by Sir Henry
Ellisj removes the objection frequently made that the Society had done
nothing for the memory of Camden as a Herald. It is the first in which
Illustrations have been introduced to any extent ; and the Council feel
assured that the satisfaction which they have felt at the manner in which
the artist, Mr. Cleghorn, has executed the task entrusted to him, will be
participated in by the Members generally, and justify the Council for the
expense they incurred for that purpose.
III. Smith's Obituary, from 1628 to 1674. Edited by Sir Henry Ellis, K.H.
F.R.S., Sec. S.A.
This volume, edited by the same zealous Member to whom the Society
is indebted for the preceding work, was undertaken by the Council at the
suggestion of one well able to judge of its value,. Sir Charles Young,
Garter King of Arms, who^ having had a transcript of the Sloane MS.
made for his own use, kindly placed the same at the service of the Council,
for the purpose of publication. The Council have expressed their acknow-
ledgments to Sir Charles Young for this kindness ; and the Meeting will
probably think fit to mark by a vote of thanks their sense of the good
feeling which he has, on this as on many former occasions, exhibited
towards the Society.
6 REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1849.
IV. Certaine Considerations upon the Government of England. By Sir Roger
Twysden, Kt. and Bart. Edited from the unpublished Manuscript by John Mit-
chell Kemble, Esq. M.A. &c.
This work was pointed out to the Council by Mr. Kemble as one of the
most valuable treatises existing on the subject to which it relates.
As the book is at present in the hands of but few of the Members, in
consequence of its delivery having only just commenced, the Council trust
they may be permitted to express their conviction that the volume — highly
important in itself, for its illustration of the history of the Constitution — will
derive additional value from the masterly Introduction, in which Mr. Kemble
has furnished an outline of the life of the author, Roger Twysden, "one of
the most laborious and judicious Antiquaries that the seventeenth century
produced ;" and in which will be found an animated sketch of that distin-
guished and powerful class, the Country Gentlemen of England of 1640,
the class that produced Cotton, Spelman, Twysden, and others.
The Council cannot conclude this Report without alluding to a change
which has gradually come over the character of the Society* s publications,
a change which, while it has been the result of causes over which they
have had comparatively little control, is one they believe to be generally
agreeable to the Members ; it is the purely historical nature of the later
Since the establishment of the Camden Society, similar Societies have
been instituted for the publication of works more immediately connected
with our early national Poetry and Drama. Their success has been at
once a matter of congratulation to the Council, who regard such success
as evidence of the soundness of the principles on which the Camden
Society was founded, and a warning to them to devote the means at
their disposal to illustrate, not so much the Poetical and Literary, as the
Political and Social History of the Empire.
By Order of the Council,
Thomas Amyot, Director.
William J. Thoms, Secretary.
REPORT OF THE AUDITORS,
Dated April 28, 1849.
We, the Auditors appointed to audit the Accounts of the Camden Society, report
to the Society, that the Treasurer has exhibited to us an account of the Receipts and
Expenditure of the Society, from the 29th of April, 1848, to the 28th of April, 1849,
and that we have examined the said accounts, with the vouchers relating thereto, and
find the same to be correct and satisfactory.
And we further report that the following is an Abstract of the Receipts and
Expenditure of the Society during the period we have mentioned.
Balance of last year's account .... 185
Received on account of Members
whose Subscriptions were in ar-
rear at the last Audit 1 03
The like on account of Subscrip-
tions due 1st May, 1848 671
One year's dividend on j^900 14«. 9d.
3 per Cent. Consols, invested in
the names of the Trustees of the
Society, deducting property-tax 26
Total receipts for the year £986 2 9
Paid for the purchase of £10 16*. 3d. 3 per Cent. Con-
sols, invested for the benefit of the Society 10
Paid for printing and paper of 1,250 copies of " Ma-
chyn's Diary" 334
The like for 1,000 copies of " Huntingdon Visitation " 115
The like for 1 ,000 copies of " Smith's Obituary " 77
Paid for Woodcuts for •' Huntingdon Visitation " . . . . 80
Paid for binding 1,000 copies of " Yonge's Diary ". . . . 42
The like for 1,000 copies of " Machyn's Diary " 52
Paid for delivery and transmission of " Machyn's Diary "
and " Visitation of the County of Huntingdon," with
paper for wrappers, &c 27 18 1
Paid for Miscellaneous Printing, Lists of Members,
Reports, &c 17
Paid for Transcripts connected with works published or
in progress 35 19
Paid for Account Books, Lithograph Circulars, &c. . . 5 5
One year's payment for keeping Accounts and General
Correspondence of the Society 52
Paid for the expenses of last General Meeting 2
Paid for postages, carriage of parcels, stationery, and
other petty cash expenses 13
Balance of Subscriptions and other receipts 121
£986 2 9
And we, the Auditors, further state, that the Treasurer has reported to us, that
over and above the present balance of £ 1 21 Os. lOd. there are outstanding various sub-
scriptions of Foreign Members, of Members resident in places distant from London,
and of Members recently elected, which the Treasurer sees no reason to doubt will
shortly be received.
Given under our hands this 28th day of April, 1849,
J. Y. Akerman ")
Frederic Ouvry J
WORKS OF THE CAMDEN SOCIETY,
AND ORDER OF THEIR PUBLICATION.
For the Year 1838-9.
1. Restoration of King Edward IV.
2. Kyng Johan, by Bishop Bale.
3. Deposition of Richard II.
4. Plumpton Correspondence.
5. Anecdotes and Traditions.
6. Political Songs.
7. Hay ward's Annals of Elizabeth .
8. Ecclesiastical Documents.
9. Norden's Description of Essex.
10. Warkworth's Chronicle.
11. Kemp's Nine Daies Wonder.
12. The Egerton Papers.
1 3. Chronica Jocelini de Brakelonda.
14. Irish Narratives, 1641 and 1690.
15. Rishanger's Chronicle.
16. Poems of Walter Mapes.
17. Travels of Meander Nucius.
18. Three Metrical Romances.
19. Diary of Dr. John Dee.
20. Apology for the Lollards.
21. Rutland Papers.
22. Diary of Bishop Cartwright.
23. Letters of Eminent Literary Men.
24. Proceedings against Dame Alice
25. Promptorium Parvulorum : Tom. I.
26. Suppression of the Monasteries.
27. Leycester Correspondence.
28. French Chronicle of London.
29. Polydore Vergil.
30. The Thornton Romances.
31. Verney's Notes of the Long Parlia-
32. Autobiography of Sir John Bramston.
33. Correspondence of James Duke of
34. Liber de Antiquis Legibus.
35. The Chronicle of Calais.
36. Polydore Vergil's History, Vol. I.
37. Italian Relation of England.
38. Church of Middleham.
39. The Camden Miscellany, Vol. I.
40. Life of Lord Grey of Wilton.
41. Diary of Walter Yonge, Esq.
42. Diary of Henry Machyn.
43. Visitation of Huntingdonshire.
44. Obituary of Richard Smyth.
45. Twysden on the Government of
WESTMINSTER : PRINTED BY JOHN BOWYER NICHOLS AND SON.
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